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Save Anne Street Bridge

David Leite

Ward County Historical Society president

The Board of the Ward County Historical Society (WCHS) is in favor of preserving and restoring the Anne Street Bridge in Minot. A simple enough statement but where are we coming from? We are, perhaps, coming late to this party, but for the last three years the WCHS has been engrossed in saving 11 buildings of its own that are all over 100 years old. In fact, most of our buildings have been saved more than once. Originally, when we took ownership of the buildings, they were either in danger of being demolished outright or slowly decaying through years of neglect. They were acquired with community support and displayed for the public to enjoy. Then again in 2011, they all had to be restored again due to being inundated by floodwaters. Once again, the community helped to bring the buildings at the Pioneer Village Museum to near their original glory. Then, most recently, we were forced to vacate the State Fair Grounds and the buildings were in danger again. We were looking at exorbitant costs and only a few months in which to save the buildings. If we couldn’t save the Village our collection of artifacts and peoples heirlooms would go to other museums and if no one would buy and move our buildings, they would be left to the bulldozers.

Once again, what happened was simply amazing. Hundreds of individuals, businesses, organizations, local and state Legislators, and Burlington City Commissioners all came together to support the effort to save the historical buildings. Most everyone supported protecting an important connection to the area’s history. The result today is the WCHS has a still improving museum situated in Burlington with a bright future ahead. The community had spoken and did what it took to make it happen.

The community is speaking again and is saying that the Anne Street Bridge is important to our history. Through experience we know that preserving history is hard work and preserving history is expensive but preserving history is important. Minot is here because of the railroad and the Anne Street Bridge is a pertinent symbol of this history. It is a great match to the restored Soo Line Depot and a great compliment to the preservation of downtown building that is currently happening by businesses and individuals. Many historical structures are gone forever from Minot but it’s not too late to preserve the iconic Anne Street Bridge.

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