No place in the world says “home” to me like the Third Street Bridge area over the James River, in Huron, South Dakota. Over my years in Huron, it became a place I frequented. As a high school art student, I’d go there to sketch. I’d go fishing with friends there in the summers, and snowmobiling in the winter. I considered a dare to walk across the spillway one summer when the water was low, and numerous dares to zip across the trestle and hope a train didn’t have the same idea at the same time. I took my kids to eat our McDonald’s lunch there, and watch the trains go by. And sometimes, I’d go there just to peacefully contemplate life, and ponder the mystery and the tragedy of the lives lost in those waters over the years.
One of the earlier versions of the bridge is shown in the above postcard. Unfortunately, years ago when I scanned it, I did not scan the back, and do not know the date this photo was taken. However, the book “Huron Revisited” has a similar photo, dated at 1922, and notes that the river was at flood stage. Note the adventurous souls in the rowboat. Perhaps that was their version of crossing the spillway or trestle…
Above: A more recent photo of the railroad bridge, and the automobile bridge in the background.
On my increasingly rare trips home, driving into town and seeing the river, the bridge, and the trestle, and all of the familiar sights that follow, warms my heart and soul like nothing else.