AUGUST 29, 1907


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,
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. 

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