AUGUST 29, 1907

QUEBEC BRIDGE COLLAPSE KILLS 33 MOHAWK IRONWORKERS

The ironworkers constructing the Quebec Bridge were getting ready to leave for the day when, without warning, the bridge collapsed into the St. Lawrence River, taking 76 men to their deaths.  Among them were 33 Mohawk workers from Kahnawake.  The community was devastated.  Four family names ceased to exist.  The original plan for the bridge–the longest cantilever bridge in the world–called for 1,600 feet, but it was increased to 1,800 to cut costs.  The weight of the steel was underestimated.  Workers had noticed popped rivets and bent girders that didn’t align properly–signs that the bridge couldn’t support the weight.  The builder ordered a halt to construction but the news reached the crews too late.  Mohawk steelworkers had built their reputation in building a railroad bridge across the St. Lawrence River in 1896.  On August 29, 2007, the descendants of the 33 Mohawk men who died were honored with a special ceremony in the community with a monument dedicated to the steelworkers.  

Source:  Doug Cuthand, “Bridge disaster of 1907 changes Mohawk community,” Indian Country Today, 9/6/2007.  Retrieved 6/18/2020, https://indiancountrytoday.com/archive/cuthand-bridge-disaster-of-1907-changes-mohawk-community-6JAzl2KBpkqTkR1SMsFUUA
Photo:  Author unknown, 1907.  Wreckage of Quebec Bridge.  Public domain in Canada:  Copyright has expired because it is a photograph that was created prior to January 1, 1949.  Public domain in the U.S.: Pre-1/1/1925. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.