Built 10 years before Confederation, this bridge is reportedly the oldest surviving bridge in Ontario with a completion date of 1857. It is a three span stone arch bridge of traditional design. Of interest, the ends of the railings have a decorative flared design and the eastern ends of these railings have circular stones on top that are reportedly mill stones from Henry Green's mill. Henry Green was, along with bridge designer John Roddick, one of two noteworthy people in the community who operated mills.
The bridge was altered in 1986 by the addition of a load-bearing concrete slab inside the deck system. This retrofit relieves the bridge from having to bear the loads of traffic. It has been done with some stone arch bridges in the United States. Historians who focus on engineering may frown on the fact that the arch no longer serves a functional purpose. However from a material and visual standpoint, this alteration is not visible to anyone since it is hidden under the deck, and it likely prevented the need for alterations to the actual stonework that might have been needed to enable it to carry heavy loads of traffic. That has not been the case here, and the stonework of the bridge appears to retain historic integrity with no major alterations, and it also appears to be well cared for, with repair work in progress when this bridge was photographed by HistoricBridges.org.
Information and Findings From The Ontario Heritage Bridge List
Discussion of Bridge
The Lyndhurst Bridge over the Gananoque River was built in 1856-57 and is therefore the oldest bridge in Ontario. It was designed by John Donald Roddick who was born in Scotland and came to Lyndhurst about 1853. It is reminiscent of older bridges that are still preserved in Scotland. Architecturally it is composed of three slightly flattened Roman arches of equal height and width but spaced unevenly to take advantage of a rock island in the stream. The side walls are built of local sandstone, laid randomly, and interrupted only by the pattern of the voussiors and the cap on the parapet. The vaults of two of the arches pass under the roadway at an angle to the long axis of the bridge. At both ends the walls curve out into a wide flare, and terminate in round pillars. The buildings on both sides of the river were built in respect to the alignment, length, width and height of the bridge. Historically, it was the focal point of the larger community in the days when five mills operated at the foot of the falls. The arches of the bridge divided the water between the joint owners of the water rights, one of whom was John Roddick. The mill stones from Henry Green's mill are preserved as caps on the pillars of the eastern approach. The bridge is still the focal point of the community.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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