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Then and Now

Historic photos courtesy of Vermont Historical Society.

Captions and modern photos by Paul Carnahan.

There hasn’t always been a permanent bridge over the Winooski River at Bailey Avenue. In fact, there was no need for one until the high school was built in 1956 and plans were being made to construct the interstate highway. However, over the years there were a series of temporary bridges constructed from State Street to Langdon Meadow for special events.

This one was present in 1911 when 10,000 people crowded the sidewalks for Montpelier’s largest Labor Day celebration ever. The people crowded on the wooden bridge may be observing the “hose hitching contest” which was held on lower State Street. The present “Montpelier Bypass Bridge” opened in 1958.