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This week in history: Flagler Memorial Bridge opens

The Flagler Memorial Bridge, the northernmost of the three bridges between West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, opened on July 1, 1938. The first bridge at the site opened in 1901, replacing the earlier railroad spur that was four blocks to the south. Henry Flagler’s wife, Mary Lily, wanted the train and its noise farther away from their Whitehall home. The 1938 bridge still stands, the oldest movable bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway from North Miami to Cape Canaveral. It is scheduled to be replaced later this year.

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The Nov. 20, 1938 “mail-away issue” of The Palm Beach Post (a season preview for winter visitors) featured an aerial view of the new Flagler Memorial Bridge with this caption:

Exceptional view of West Palm Beach’s imposing skyline — An unusual picture of the city looking across the roof of the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach, with the downtown district in panoramic display to the left of the new Flagler Memorial Bridge, dedicated early in the summer by Senators Pepper and Andrews. The bridge links the two resort cities. Beyond the town in the distance may be seen Clear Lake, source of fresh water for the Palm Beaches, while stretching in the distance beyond the lake lies a section of the back-country. The broad, sweeping curves of the lake’s edge shelters Flagler Drive, a tree-lined thoroughfare skirting the lake’s edge for blocks in either direction. Jutting out from the shore-line on the far side of Lake Worth may be seen the city’s dock system, a stopping place for palatial yachts and charter boats during the season about to open.”

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Posted in Flashback blog June 27, 2011 at 6:00 am.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. Amazing history here! I love that the wife had an input on the plans.


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