02.18.2020 Porter’s Hand Built Keystone Arch Bridge

I’ve posted about this bridge before but it is remarkable so it gets posted again.  Adolphus Porter returned home a wounded veteran of the Civil War and decided to build a bridge.  In 1866 he completed this masterpiece, all hand built with no binding material save the concept of an arch, located just inside Gate 30 of the Quabbin Watershed.  Years ago, when I was first wooing Mary Beth, I would drive to the Philadelphia area where she was living.  One morning we woke up to the news that a modern bridge along Route 95 had collapsed into the Mianus River just shortly after my trip. This 154 year old bridge has better stood the test of time.  Of course, it doesn’t have semis rolling across it all day but still…

This is one of those spots that have been photographed hundreds of times.  I believe it merits repetition.

I am almost golden with the upgrade. Display is now calibrated and all that remains is that pesky Lightroom catalog.  I have help coming remotely tomorrow afternoon so with any luck you’ll not hear another complaint.  🙂

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Landscape, Quabbin, Water, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to 02.18.2020 Porter’s Hand Built Keystone Arch Bridge

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Modern craftsmen could take a page from his workbook. Impressive!
    Love the soft water and orange pine needles on the stones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    The photo’s glorious. I like keystone bridges, and this is a beauty, with an interesting history. The one I mentioned to Jim, in Elkader, Iowa, is the first one I ever saw; it’s sort of in his neighborhood. When I stopped by Google to look for images of the Iowa bridge, the Quabbin bridge was front and center. You’re right that a lot of people have taken photos of it. One more never hurts, especially when it’s as nice as this one.

    Just out of curiosity, what were your shutter and aperture settings here? I like the combination of sharp rocks, soft water, and a kind of ‘wet’ look to the whole scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was shot from the side least often visited by folks, although again I am not the only one to have gone over there. Always looking for something different.

      This was a long shutter speed. 15 seconds at f/16 with the 24-70 lens. As you might imagine, at that length of time a tripod is essential but I am almost always on one. As to the wet look, I can’t remember for sure, but looking above the bridge seems foggy which would account for some dampness.

      I’ll look at your link for the bridge in Iowa.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        I was curious about your settings because I gave “soft” water a try last weekend. The results are on my blog — I almost titled it “Going Soft in My Old Age.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think we’re all appropriately thinking of titling something like that.
        As far as settings, it varies greatly depending on the ambient light and the rate of water flow. Sometimes I get a nice silky look at just a second or two and others, like this one, at much longer exposures. Having preview ability now with digital is a huge help for evaluating exposure.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I was wrong about the link and who posted it. But I did search for the bridge and it is a much more elaborate and polished looking. And a double arch to boot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        It’s interesting that Andrew Carnegie’s bridge building company was named Keystone. One of their most famous bridges was the Eads, in St. Louis: the first bridge across the Mississippi south of the Missouri River, and one of the first fabricated with steel. Before the Arch showed up, the Eads Bridge was the primary landmark in St. Louis. Quinta Scott, a woman I met through my interest in the Mississippi, published a photography book about the Eads Bridge, although she’s best known for her Visual Biography of the Mississippi.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    I think I found out what HB2U means — is today the day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it was. 72 candles on the cake. Actually only 7 and they wouldn’t let me blow them out because of my cold. I had to wave a dish to put out the candles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        Well happy birthday to you! The thought of you waving a dish to put out your candles made me laugh. Every fall, when I turn on the heat for the first time, I have to climb up on a chair and wave a magazine or plate under the smoke detector to keep the air moving, so the danged thing doesn’t go off. A couple of experiences with it going off in the middle of the night cured me of waiting to do that little chore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! Ah, yes, the smoke detector. That happens to me when I paint the wood stove before each first autumn burn. And also if I use our grill pan to cook a steak on the stove top. It’s the main reason I now use the gas grill outside year round. Plus the fumes from a spice rubbed steak makes Mary Beth choke. As far as the middle of the night, it’s happened a few times when the battery gets low so I have replaced them all with ones that flash a red light when it’s time to replace. I wonder why a furnace would give off fumes though. That shouldn’t happen, I don’t think. Have you mentioned it to the property manager?

        Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        It only happens the first time it comes on. It’s the nine months of dust that collects in the ducts, I suppose. Once it’s run for a few minutes, the problem resolves itself.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic picture, and a great story to go with it. I love bridges, and this one is a gem. I guess a gem in the rough, since it looks like he mostly worked with uncut stones, very impressive to fit them together and have it last so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, all uncut, I believe. It does see a little traffic by the various trucks employed by the water authority to manage the land so has held up well through that after so many years. I’ve never photographed it from the other side…there’s an idea.

      Like

  5. Is this bridge limited to pedestrians now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Classic — and Classics never go out of date, much less style.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a beautiful image, Steve, and a wonder of a bridge. You can’t but help admire the builder which has complimented nature in its design and build.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Mackay says:

    That bridge looks beautiful in its setting. I’m still faffing with my computer – haven’t quite got the monitor calibration right…meh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is so appropriate in its setting and I wouldn’t want a more modern bridge in the watershed. There are several others that are just culverts but this is the prize in my opinion.
      I’m sorry you are still having trouble. As I posted yesterday, mine is finally squared away with some expert help from another blogging person.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful image Stephen! It really draws your eye in!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Todd Henson says:

    This one does merit repetition. Beautiful photograph, Steve. And I love the story behind it. So true that sometimes creations from long ago seem to outlast those of modern day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bluebrightly says:

    That’s such a beautiful bridge. I love good, solid stonework. Your photo is perfection, from the angle of the bridge, which emphasizes the beautiful construction, to the soft water and leaf and pine needle details. I couldn’t resist the link, remembering the Mianus River and the Mianus River Gorge…I lived in the area for a while, in Norwalk, but in ’83 I was wrapped up in a life-altering situation in new York so I don’t remember that bridge collapse. I bet you’re glad you don’t drive on 95 much these days!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dave Ply says:

    Lovely bridge. Looking at all that stone and weight I imagined what it would look like if I tried to build it. Then I saw a big pile of rock in the middle of the river…

    Liked by 1 person

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