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‘Million Dollar Free Bridge’ Celebrated On Saturday

by Becca Martin-Brown | May 13, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
FORT SMITH, circa 1955 The Garrison Avenue bridge had been completed in 1922, the first alternative to a railroad or toll bridge linking Oklahoma with Fort Smith. Motorists entering Arkansas into Fort Smith were greeted with the welcome sign on a cut-out image, which was used at most state line crossings at the time. The bridge has been replaced today. Send questions or comments to Arkansas Postcard Past, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203.

FAQ

Commemorative Celebration: 1922 Million Dollar Free Bridge

WHAT -- A partnership of the Fort Smith Museum of History, the Fort Smith Historical Society, and the Fort Smith National Historic Site, this event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 1922 "Million Dollar Free Bridge" and includes a parade of Fort Smith Antique Automobile Club's vintage automobiles and a history of the construction of the 1922 Bridge by Al Whitson.

WHEN -- 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE -- Frisco Station building on the grounds of the Fort Smith National Historic Site

COST -- Free

INFO -- 783-7841; email [email protected]

FYI -- Images and photographs from the archives of the Fort Smith Museum of History and the Fort Smith Historical Society of the 1922 Million Dollar Free Bridge will be available for public viewing as well as original concept drawings of the 1922 Bridge loaned by Carder Furgeson. The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum will display prints by John Bell Jr. that feature the bridge.

  photo  Over the two-day period of May 11-12, 1922, the largest celebration in Fort Smith history occurred in recognition of the opening and dedication of the Garrison Avenue “Million Dollar” Free Bridge. Governors from both Arkansas and Oklahoma were present for the christening and dedication of the bridge, as a flight of eight Army biplanes performed maneuvers overhead. More than 20,000 people were present in the city to observe and participate in the celebration culminating years of back-breaking labor, legal battles and cooperation between states in the creation of the iconic bridge. (Courtesy Photo/Fort Smith Museum of History)
 
 


Print Headline: ‘Million Dollar Free Bridge’ Celebrated On Saturday

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