Twin Falls bridge on historic places list

BREITUNG TOWNSHIP – Three individual properties and four historic districts in Michigan are getting new recognition by the National Register of Historic Places.

The State Historic Preservation Office has announced that the Upper Twin Falls Bridge in Dickinson County’s Breitung Township, the Hanover High School Complex in Jackson County and the Grand Rapids Storage and Van Co. in Kent County are on the list.

Built in 1910-11, the Upper Twin Falls Bridge is located four miles north of Iron Mountain, over the Menominee River in Breitung Township and the town of Florence, Wis.

It was built in response to Peninsula Power Company’s plans to build the Twin Falls Power Dam, which made it necessary to replace the existing bridge crossing the Menominee River.

The 101-year-old bridge spans the Menominee River and served horse wagon, buggy and auto traffic to and from Florence, Spread Eagle and Iron Mountain.

It closed to all truck and auto use in September 1971.

Little has changed around the bridge since it was constructed with the exception of the erection of the Carpenter Memorial and the construction of the Twin Falls Power Dam, which created the Twin Falls Flowage that the bridge and causeways now span.

The Carpenter Monument at the north end of the bridge was erected and dedicated on Memorial Day 1923 in honor of Gilbert Vilas Carpenter who lost his life during World War I when the steamer on which he was returning from Cuba was sunk by an enemy submarine.

He survived the torpedo attack, but lost his life when his life raft overturned. His body was never recovered.

The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government’s official list of properties deemed worthy of preservation because of their importance in American history and culture.

Historic districts new to the list include the Williamston Downtown Historic District in Ingham County, the Drake, Benjamin and Maria (Ogden) Farm in Kalamazoo County’s Oshtemo Township and the Boyne City Central Historic District in Charlevoix County.

The Center Avenue Neighborhood Historic District in Bay City also has been expanded.

In addition, the state says the Grand Circus Park Historic District designation in Detroit was updated.