Bond Issue for Funds to Rebuild Old Bridge Carried at a Special Town Meeting in Angelica, 57-4.
(From the Wellsville Daily Reporter, January 26, 1922. Transcribed by Crist Middaugh.)
The Angelica Advocate reports that by a vote of 57 for and 4 against, the Bond issue to rebuild the “Old Church Bridge” over the Genesee river near Belvidere Farms was carried at the special election held January 28th. The large majority in favor of the bond issue is a compliment to the intelligence of the voters of Angelica. In the near future a new bridge made of steel will take the place of the old and dilapidated wooden “Church Bridge.”
The present structure, a three bent affair, has served for many years, and being repaired form time to time, bid fair to last for years, until one morning several months ago when James Stewart of the Belvidere Farms barely escaped with his life when one of the spans gave way with him and toppled into the river. Since this time the road has been out of commission and a great source of inconvenience to those who desired to take the short cut to Angelica.
Perhaps a bit of early history concerning the “old Church bridge” and surroundings will be of interest to the present generation.
History relates that the first “Church bridge” was built one third of a mile above its present site. The grade of this old road bed is discernible even today. The road left the present road just north of C. E. Whitcomb’s residence and crossing the river, followed the bank around to the flats, past the old “White House” and through the site of the one time Seneca village of Gis-ta-qua.
At this time Allegany county, lately a part of Genesee county, was composed of but one township, Angelica. Benj. Riggs was the first supervisor and attended his Board of Supervisors meeting at Batavia.
But early as this was a wooden bridge a few miles down stream, the Transit bridge, was already in operation.
After two or three decades the site of the “Church bridge” was changed to its present location. A toll house and gate was erected at this end and was a toll bridge for years, presumably to pay for the upkeep of the pine plank road.
The giving away of “stringers” under the bridge is an old caper of the Church structure. Old timers relate the fatality of a woman on one of these occasions. It appears that it was in the winter time and two women and a pair of horse and a sleigh were precipitated into the river when a bent gave way. The body of the woman who lost her life was never recovered, having been carried under the ice into some cover and later swept away when the spring breakup came.