Browne's Bridge

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Browne's Bridge

Apex 59725,Butte Area

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General info

Location: mile north of Glen

Browne’s Bridge was constructed as a toll bridge by Fred Burr and James Minesinger in late 1862 and early 1863. The bridge was located on the Bannack to Deer Lodge Road. Joseph Browne, a miner, bought the bridge in 1865. The territorial legislature granted him a charter to maintain the bridge and charge travelers for its use. Within a few years, Browne had acquired about 3,000 acres near the bridge and had developed nearby Browne’s Lake for recreational purposes. A post office was located just west of the bridge from 1872 until the early 1880s. Even though most of Montana’s counties assumed control of the state’s toll facilities by 1892, Browne operated the bridge until his death in 1909. Beaverhead and Madison counties assumed joint ownership of the bridge in 1911.

In 1915 the counties petitioned the Montana State Highway Commission for a new bridge. The Commission designed the bridge in 1915; a Missoula company built it during the autumn and winter of that year. A riveted Warren through truss bridge, it was one of the first structures designed by the Commission’s bridge department. In 1920 high water destroyed the old structure, which was located slightly upstream from this bridge.

Beaverhead County rehabilitated this bridge with funds provided by the Montana Department of Transportation.

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