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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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The Memorial Bridge

Yesterday, c. 1923, the sections of the Memorial Bridge were floated into place with the assistance of barges and tugboats. On the Portsmouth side of the Piscataqua River there is a plaque stating the bridge was dedicated as "A memorial to the sailors and soldiers of New Hampshire who participated in the World War 1917 - 1919". Prior to 1923, there were two ways to get across the river. The majority of the public crossed the by ferryboats which traveled from the Portsmouth waterfront (see 1877 map) to Badger's Island which is part of Kittery, Maine. The other way was called "the long way around" which took the traveler along the railroad tracks from Portsmouth and across the railroad bridge to Kittery.

Today, the Memorial Bridge is probably the most traversed bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery as the location where the bridge crosses the river is nearest to Kittery and the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard. This picture was taken from the same location on Badger's Island as the 1923 picture. Only today the steeple for St. John's Church appears to the right of the bridge whereas in the 1923 picture the steeple is to the left of the bridge section which was in the process of being set in its permanent place.

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