An early bridge across "The Gut", South Bristol, ca. 1900Item 79589 info
South Bristol Historical Society
As early as 1849, concerns about the bridge gave rise to petitions to the state legislature asking for a draw bridge over the Gut.
The petitioners wrote: "…the bridge connecting Rutherford’s Island to the mainland in said town of Bristol … is a great nuisance to the said citizens aforesaid and others doing business as fishermen in the vicinity."
They added that the "Gut" was navigable for vessels of one hundred tons or more, and the passage through from John's Bay to the Damariscotta River by that route is only one half mile, while going around the Island is about eight miles.
Therefore, they argued, a bridge built to open and allow vessels to pass through it "would save much in distance, and the navigation much less dangerous."
The petitions apparently fell on deaf ears, and no draw bridge was built.