Aerial view of the roadway deck work, 1957.
Photo from Mackinac Bridge Authority. Digital materials in the Upper Peninsula Digitization Center collections are either in the public domain, according to U.S. copyright law, or permission has been obtained from rights owners. The digital version and supplementary materials are available for all educational uses worldwide. For further information contact the Superiorland Library Cooperative staff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the land of Hiawatha,
Where the white man gazed with awe
At a paradise divided
By the straits of Mackinac
Men are dredging, drilling, blasting,
Battling tides around the clock,
Through the depths of icy water,
Driving caissons down to rock.
Fleets of freighters bring their cargoes
From the forges and the kilns;
Stones and steel – ten thousand barge-loads –
From the quarries, mines, and mills.
Now the towers, mounting skyward,
Reach the heights of airy space.
Hear the rivet-hammers ringing,
Joining steel in strength and grace.
High above the swirling currents,
Parabolic strands are strung;
From the cables, packed with power,
Wonder-spans of steel are hung.
Generations dreamed the crossing;
Doubters shook their heads in scorn.
Brave men vowed that they would build it –
From their faith a bridge was born.
There it spans the miles of water,
Speeding millions on their way –
Bridge of vision, hope and courage,
Portal to a brighter day.
2100 photos of the construction of the Mackinac Bridge in 1957 are in the collection of the Upper Peninsula Digitization Center.