An early bridge across "The Gut", South Bristol, ca. 1900
The bridge which can be seen in the center of this image was probably built in the early 1890's, but the records are unclear. The bridge spans a narrow passage between the eastern and western portions of the harbor between the mainland and Rutherford Island, and is locally known as "The Gut." Until a bridge was built, this passage could be crossed only at low tide or by the use of a small ferry at higher tides. In 1891, the state legislature authorized the building of a bridge, and later that year, folks at Bristol's town meeting voted to make that bridge a draw bridge. The bridge was built sometime shortly thereafter, but was not as a drawbridge; what was constructed was the fixed bridge you see in this image. This bridge collapsed during a Fourth of July celebration in 1902.