In 1764, Albert Baker settled in the town of Kingsbury in Washington County. Four years later, he obtained water rights to the largest falls on the Hudson River (Baker's Falls) and built a dam and a sawmill. The area near Baker's Falls was then incorporated as the village of Sandy Hill (Hudson Falls) in 1810.
On the opposite side of the Hudson River, in the town of Moreau in Saratoga County, is the hamlet of Fenimore. In the early days, a powder mill and gristmill were located there. In 1882, the Union Bag and Paper Company was established. Eventually it owned paper mills on both sides of the Hudson near Baker's Falls.
The original bridge spanning the river from Sandy Hill to Fenimore was made of wood. In 1906, Union Bag and Paper financed the construction of a reinforced concrete bridge to replace the wooden one. It would facilitate transportation of materials and products to and from all of the company's mills. It would also make it easier for residents to travel between Washington and Saratoga counties. The bridge was completed on January 8, 1907. From then to 1908, the Sandy Hill Bridge was the longest multiple span, reinforced-concrete arch bridge in the world. Its design was also the first to employ the use of separately molded concrete blocks for decorative purposes on the exterior spandrel walls, arch rings, and piers. Considering the scope of building a bridge of this magnitude in the infancy of reinforced concrete construction, eight months construction time was in itself a significant achievement.
By the 1970s, the Fenimore Bridge needed repair. The sidewalk and roadway were replaced and the railway and lighting were upgraded. In 1988 and 1989, bridge inspections found severe structural deterioration as a result of age and weather. The Fenimore Bridge needed to be replaced. It was closed in 1989, and in May, 1992, D. A. Collin Construction Company began work on a new bridge. The new Fenimore Bridge was completed ahead of schedule and opened to the public in August, 1993.
March 4th, 2018
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