Saviors of ‘spectacular’ cobblestone bridge receive escarpment award

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

The Niagara Escarpment Commission has recognized the saviors of the cobblestone bridge over Webster’s Falls.

The Optimist Club of Greensville received the Niagara Escarpment Achievement Award at a recent city council meeting for its 2000 campaign to restore the crumbling structure that had been slated for demolition.

“It is a spectacular piece of architecture,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It is a great park, and a great facility.”

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson said the award “recognized (the organization’s) resourcefulness and contribution to the Niagara Escarpment in the restoration of the beautiful cobblestone bridge.

“Residents and visitors of the city of Hamilton will appreciate the enormous benefit to the community that this volunteer group has achieved through their efforts.”

The cobblestone bridge was constructed over Spencer Creek and Webster’s Falls by five local masons at a cost of about $4,000 in 1938. The money for the project came from a bequeath by Lt. Colonel William Edward Sheridan Knowles after his death in 1931.

In his will, Mr. Knowles wanted the $197,000 to go towards beautifying Sydenham Street and Webster’s Falls.

The cobblestones for the bridge were collected from an Aberfoyle farm by Dundas high school students who were hired for the task.

Despite its visual splendor, the bridge was not constructed to last. Over the next few years the bridge quickly deteriorated, with the Town of Dundas, which purchased the Webster Falls site in 1917, filling in cracks in the concrete and replacing fallen stones. Spring floods in the 1950s and 1960s further weakened the bridge. Despite claims the bridge was unsafe, and in need of repair, further restoration efforts were never initiated. Officials claimed there wasn’t enough money to fix the bridge. The bequest from Col. Knowles did not come close to covering the potential cost of repairing the bridge.

In 1999 the Town of Dundas was forced to close the bridge to traffic, and was preparing to demolish it.

But a massive public campaign sprang up, led by residents, to preserve the historical structure. The Optimist Club of Greensville led the Save the Bridge campaign, which also included the Friends of Webster Falls.

Within a year their efforts were rewarded as they raised $300,000, including securing a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. On July 1, 2000, the cobblestone bridge was re-opened.

Saviors of ‘spectacular’ cobblestone bridge receive escarpment award

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

The Niagara Escarpment Commission has recognized the saviors of the cobblestone bridge over Webster’s Falls.

The Optimist Club of Greensville received the Niagara Escarpment Achievement Award at a recent city council meeting for its 2000 campaign to restore the crumbling structure that had been slated for demolition.

“It is a spectacular piece of architecture,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It is a great park, and a great facility.”

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson said the award “recognized (the organization’s) resourcefulness and contribution to the Niagara Escarpment in the restoration of the beautiful cobblestone bridge.

“Residents and visitors of the city of Hamilton will appreciate the enormous benefit to the community that this volunteer group has achieved through their efforts.”

The cobblestone bridge was constructed over Spencer Creek and Webster’s Falls by five local masons at a cost of about $4,000 in 1938. The money for the project came from a bequeath by Lt. Colonel William Edward Sheridan Knowles after his death in 1931.

In his will, Mr. Knowles wanted the $197,000 to go towards beautifying Sydenham Street and Webster’s Falls.

The cobblestones for the bridge were collected from an Aberfoyle farm by Dundas high school students who were hired for the task.

Despite its visual splendor, the bridge was not constructed to last. Over the next few years the bridge quickly deteriorated, with the Town of Dundas, which purchased the Webster Falls site in 1917, filling in cracks in the concrete and replacing fallen stones. Spring floods in the 1950s and 1960s further weakened the bridge. Despite claims the bridge was unsafe, and in need of repair, further restoration efforts were never initiated. Officials claimed there wasn’t enough money to fix the bridge. The bequest from Col. Knowles did not come close to covering the potential cost of repairing the bridge.

In 1999 the Town of Dundas was forced to close the bridge to traffic, and was preparing to demolish it.

But a massive public campaign sprang up, led by residents, to preserve the historical structure. The Optimist Club of Greensville led the Save the Bridge campaign, which also included the Friends of Webster Falls.

Within a year their efforts were rewarded as they raised $300,000, including securing a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. On July 1, 2000, the cobblestone bridge was re-opened.

Saviors of ‘spectacular’ cobblestone bridge receive escarpment award

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

The Niagara Escarpment Commission has recognized the saviors of the cobblestone bridge over Webster’s Falls.

The Optimist Club of Greensville received the Niagara Escarpment Achievement Award at a recent city council meeting for its 2000 campaign to restore the crumbling structure that had been slated for demolition.

“It is a spectacular piece of architecture,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “It is a great park, and a great facility.”

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson said the award “recognized (the organization’s) resourcefulness and contribution to the Niagara Escarpment in the restoration of the beautiful cobblestone bridge.

“Residents and visitors of the city of Hamilton will appreciate the enormous benefit to the community that this volunteer group has achieved through their efforts.”

The cobblestone bridge was constructed over Spencer Creek and Webster’s Falls by five local masons at a cost of about $4,000 in 1938. The money for the project came from a bequeath by Lt. Colonel William Edward Sheridan Knowles after his death in 1931.

In his will, Mr. Knowles wanted the $197,000 to go towards beautifying Sydenham Street and Webster’s Falls.

The cobblestones for the bridge were collected from an Aberfoyle farm by Dundas high school students who were hired for the task.

Despite its visual splendor, the bridge was not constructed to last. Over the next few years the bridge quickly deteriorated, with the Town of Dundas, which purchased the Webster Falls site in 1917, filling in cracks in the concrete and replacing fallen stones. Spring floods in the 1950s and 1960s further weakened the bridge. Despite claims the bridge was unsafe, and in need of repair, further restoration efforts were never initiated. Officials claimed there wasn’t enough money to fix the bridge. The bequest from Col. Knowles did not come close to covering the potential cost of repairing the bridge.

In 1999 the Town of Dundas was forced to close the bridge to traffic, and was preparing to demolish it.

But a massive public campaign sprang up, led by residents, to preserve the historical structure. The Optimist Club of Greensville led the Save the Bridge campaign, which also included the Friends of Webster Falls.

Within a year their efforts were rewarded as they raised $300,000, including securing a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. On July 1, 2000, the cobblestone bridge was re-opened.