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Historic TX Bridge Named After Local Ghosts

Friday, October 26, 2018

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Lone Wolf Bridge, located in San Angelo, Texas, is well-known locally for being both allegedly haunted and home to a wealth of history. The 152-foot-long metal truss bridge, a 1922 rebuild originally dating to 1888, serves only pedestrians now, but its stories date back to the 1800s.

According to the Standard-Times, visitors to the bridge have reported seeing shadowy figures and orbs of light, as well as hearing disembodied voices. What remains a further mystery, however, is what the bridge was actually named for.

Lone Wolf Bridge History

There are two popular theories as to how the bridge got its name: one related to a local Kiowa-Comanche chieftain who sought to avoid troops as he went to retrieve his slain son, the other connected to a nearby town.

According to the story of Chief Lone Wolf, the leader was avoiding Fort Concho troops as he went to retrieve his son’s body; these same soldiers were suspected of killing the chieftain’s son in 1873. Lone Wolf was able to retrieve his son, but during the mission, the party was spotted. After the ensuing chase, the mission happened upon a company of cavalry, surprising the troops and resulting in the group stealing 28 horses and making a getaway. In his book The Concho Country, author Gus Clemens named Lone Wolf as the source for the story. (In his version, the chieftain is a Kiowa Apache leader who allied with the Comanche.) In a later article, Clemens admitted he did not have evidence of the claim, but noted that it was likely.

The second theory related to a small local town from the 1880s, named Lone Wolf. The town is largely only remembered now through data from an 1880 census, estimating a population of 884 people. Lone Wolf was likely built close to the bridge, and while a flood in 1882 did some damage, the reason the place disappeared has largely been attributed to a failure to grow.

In the early 1950s, the town of San Angelo wanted to build a new bridge to replace the historic span. Debate grew between residents and the city council over the issue, as 12 serious vehicle crashes were reported in 1951, connected to the bridge’s narrow width and poor condition.

The update to Lone Wolf Bridge, which cost $15,000 during construction in 1922, used pieces from the older span.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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