Steamboat Building in Elizabeth, PA

A Journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925 

Town Scapes

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The Elizabeth / West Elizabeth Bridge


The Bridge was built during 1893, opening on November 14, 1893.  It was a toll bridge from its opening until December 6, 1913 when it was taken over by Allegheny County.  A detailed early history of the bridge is available in R. T. Wiley's book "Elizabeth and Her Neighbors" pages 189 to 197. The bridge  remained in service into 1951  when it was replaced by the four lane bridge that is part of Rt. 51.

During the bridge's twenty years as a Toll Bridge their were a total of twelve different tokens that were used which are described in the information below, click on the image to show full size. The photos below show several of these tokens.

Information provided by Yosef Sa'ar, a collector of transportation tokens.          

  Bridge token used to pay toll to cross bridge from Elizabeth to West Elizabeth for those walking.  Different tokens were used for wagons and carts.     Front of token used for "One Horse or Mule" Back of token used for "One Horse or Mule"  

From collection of Jeremy Stiehl, might be one of those of a different medal than others shown     From collection of Jeremy Stieh, Front of "Tug AID" token  From collection of Jeremy Stieh, Back of "Tug AID" token   

The Tug AID was docked at West Elizabeth for approximately two years,1912 to 1914, and an assumption is that the tokens with the name of the Tug AID on the back were used by the employees of this boats company when crossing the bridge.

Also used were paper tickets as shown below, when and the exact reasons why the paper tickets were used is unknown.

From collection of Jeremy Stiehl   From collection of Jeremy Stiehl      added 7/22/19


If you have additional information or photos of the tokens used on the bridge please contact me at jwmohney"at" comcast "dot" net.  This is not a clickable address so please change the quoted words to the appropriate symbols.

The Toll Booth, shown below, was located on the Elizabeth side of the bridge with the first Superintendent / Toll Taker being Joseph S. Taylor.  After tolls stopped being required Taylor continued working for Allegheny County on the bridge until he passed away in 1928.  JW Lynch writes in his journal that he began working part time on the bridge during 1927 and then full time in 1928.  Another name I found in the June 1978 issue of S&D Reflector who worked on the bridge as a toll taker was William Hughes.

 Elizabeth Bridge Early 1900s  Photo dated July 24, 1906 , is  similar to previous but taken further back from bridge.  Bridge Toll Booth in later years from collection of John Dziama

The date of the photo below and the man shown is unknown but it might be during the 1920s and the man walking in front of the now installed railroad gate might be Joseph Taylor.

From collection of Historic Elizabeth  



From collection of Art Schwartz....writing reads Elizabeth Bridge..our boat house   1909 ..Yacht Nellie.   Information on family that owned this boat house is appreciated  Elizabeth Bridge postcard dated 1921 showing the boat house shown in previous photo.


Elizabeth Bridge about 1912

Postcard dated 1914



Date unknown of postcard showing old Elizabet Bridge from collection of Historic Elizabeth 





Old Elizabeth Bridge with Elizabeth Marine Ways down riverLooking at Elizabeth across the river Looking at Elizabeth

These three photos give a panoramic view of Elizabeth, PA. along with photos of the bridge, the exact date is unknown but based upon other photos in the collection of the Elizabeth Marine Ways I would guess these to be between 1920 to 1930.  The town was not the subject of these photos, the barges were.


   Elizabeth Bridge 1940s   The Steamer B. F. FAIRLESS was built in 1927 as the YOUGHIOGHENY and then renamed CLAIRTON in 1952. this postcard is dated 1950.  The signifiance of this photo is that it shows the W. P. SNYDER passing under the new Elizabeth Bridge just as the final pieces of the old Elizabeth Bridge had been dropped into the river by a welders cutting tool.  Photo from collection of Historic Elizabeth.


Route 51  New Bridge Construction


From collection of John Dziama

Newspaper article on construction of new bridge   Newspaper article on new bridge construction  Magazine ad of Fort Pitt Bridge Company relating to them building the "New" Elizabeth Bridge  



The next three photos are from collection of Historic Pittsburgh dated 1948  Close up of previous photo from collection of Historic Pittsburgh

Early in the construction of the "New" Elizabeth Bridge, note the house in relationship to the bridge.

From collection of Historic Pittsburgh

Later in the construction process with the bridge built, note the comparison of the house and bridge at this time.

New Elizabeth Bridge - Route 51 - December, 1950   From collection of Alice Lynch

The "New" Elizabeth Bridge nearing completion, 1950.



New Bridge ramps on Elizabeth side of bridge from collection of Historic Elizabeth   From the collection of Historical Elizabeth, date is unknown.   From the collection of Historical Elizabeth dated 1934   

 Photo on the left shows the new bridge ramps on the Elizabeth town side. This area prior to the bridge construction was the approximate location of the Elizabeth High School sports field where many activities were held as shown in the other two photos. The picture on the right is dated 1934 and the big events in 1934 were related to the Elizabeth Sequi-Centennial so this picture might be showing an event relating to that celebration.



Town Scapes

Postcard dated 1926   Close up of left side of postcard   Close up of right side of postcard 



Postcard view of Elizabeth from West Elizabeth side of unknown


Postcard is dated 1927

Elizabeth,  1930   This photograph is from the collection of Mark Dodd of Elizabeth Township.

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