Ludlow, VT Freshet and Bridge Collapse, Jul 1850

The first high bridge over Jewell Brook, was built in 1849. It was a wooden bridge, and part of the lumber was sawed in the old saw-mill north of Black River, where Jesse Spauding's grain store now stands. It was completed so that trains passed over it in the fall of the same year. The great freshet of July, 1850, raised the waters of Jewell Brook so high that they undermined the stone pier that supported the middle of the bridge, letting it fall.

The bridge also went down and had to be rebuilt. At that time, the dam stood about sixty feet above the bridge. The railroad company had it removed to where it now stands, in order to prevent the middle pier from being washed out in times of high water.

The freshet of 1850 was very sudden and destructive, produced by a shower of short duration. It was supposed to be a cloudburst. The meadow south of the railroad now used as a playground, was completely flooded, and the inmates of seveal shanties on this lot, had to be rescued with boats, the water rising as high as the windows.

History of Ludlow, Vermont, 1949, pages 119-120