Michigan Roadside Attractions: The Hudson Railroad Bridge
Michigan Roadside Attractions on Travel the Mitten highlights our attempts to explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to the unusual.
Hudson is a small city in Lenawee County, located where U.S. 127 and M-34 meet. While touring the area last summer we made a quick stop to check out one of the area’s historic bridges. The Hudson Railroad Bridge is one of the state’s few surviving stone arch bridges and one that used to be part of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. The Michigan historical marker next to the bridge provides some history of the rail line:
“The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway organized on May 29, 1869. The railroad’s main line linked Buffalo, New York, with Chicago. The railroad played a vital role in transporting not only passengers, but also the materials that fed the nations burgeoning industries. Between 1873 and 1898, the L.S. & M.S. handled over 6 millions tons of coal and 15 million tons of iron ore. The railway merged with the New York Central in 1914.”
And on the other side we find details about the bridge: “This bridge, built in 1871-72 of sandstone from Berea. Ohio, crosses Bean Creek on the main line of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. The span of the arch measures 60 feet. By 1892 of 223 bridges over 1413 miles of track along the line, only 22 were built of stone. Stone arch bridges are rare in Michigan. This bridge and one near Adrian are the state’s oldest examples. The bridge was removed from rail service in 1962.”
The Hudson Railroad Bridge can be seen from Main Street (M-34), between Market St. and Tiffin St. You can park at Bobbye’s Pizza or behind the Fun Factory Child Care to see the bridge up close. While the approaches are long gone, the bridge span itself appears to still be in good condition which is amazing considering its age.