Swinging Bridge

The history of the Minnesota City swinging bridge dates back to 1862 when a wooden bridge was built across the creek, now known as Garvin Brook, that runs along the edge of the city. A stagecoach used the bridge at that time and in 1864 a metal bridge was built near the site of the local flour mill. In 1947 that bridge was washed away in a flood.  In 1950 a new suspension bridge was built at the location of the old one. 

"The August 1950 dedication of the Swinging Bridge, a suspension bridge, was one of the biggest events ever staged in Minnesota City," according to the Winona Republican Herald. A parade was the center of activity. Parade chairman, Leo Richter, said that several marching units would be present including Edstrom’s Accordion Band and St.Stanislaus School Band. The Winona Steamboat Day’s Queen, Joan Vollmer, rode in the parade and Robert Schuh directed the Rollingstone Band. A highlight of this event was the meeting on the new bridge of Oswald Vill, one of the oldest city residents, walking from the Oaks side, and Mayor Leo Cisewski coming from the Village side. “Hundreds of persons ‘initiated’ the bridge” and “crowds surged onto the swinging span” after the ribbon cutting.  M.J. Galvin, former Winona County State Senator said, "This bridge, although small, is a symbol of the engineering feats that Americans are capable of achieving". MCHA newsletter March 2017.

The photo on the left is from the late 1970's after the bridge was closed. The other photo is from a few years earlier when the bridge was still open to foot traffic. The bridge was dismantled in 1981 due to safety concerns. The concrete abutments are all that remain.