An early bridge across "The Gut", South Bristol, ca. 1900
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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.