The Swinging Bridge: Walking Across the Androscoggin

Text by Candace Kanes

Images from Pejepscot Historical Society and Maine Historical Society

When the Topsham Land Company decided to develop housing in Topsham Heights along the Androscoggin River, it decided a pedestrian bridge would help entice workers at the Cabot Mill in Brunswick to move across the river.

The result was a suspension bridge that has become an integral part of both communities since the structure was completed in 1892.

Children walking to public and parochial schools have used the bridge. Adults visiting family on either side of the river have pushed baby carriages across it. People of all ages going to work in the mills or in the many businesses in the two towns rely on the bridge.

Runners go across the slightly swaying structure as part of their practice loop. Children and adults on bicycles cross the river on the bridge. Lore has it that cars have driven -- or attempted to drive -- across the bridge. Motorcycles and horses also have been seen on it.

Known as the Swinging Bridge, the Swing Bridge, and Le Petit Pont, the suspension bridge also draws sightseers and amateur photographers seeking to get a closer look at the Androscoggin River.

The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Renovated and repaired in 2006, the bridge is ready to serve many more generations of Brunswick and Topsham residents seeking a quick and scenic route across the river.

View slideshow