The Old Maupin Bridge
During the transition from the horse and buggy days to the horseless carriage, wise drivers of the early automobiles would drive to the side of the road and stop some distance from an approaching team of horses because the horses were not yet accustomed to strange vehicles. Frequently they would become alarmed and shy away, or try to run away from the automobile. It was especially necessary for the driver of an automobile to come to a complete stop near the guard rail of the first Maupin bridge if horses were encountered on the bridge. Better yet, a wise driver would stop some distance back if he saw horses on the bridge, in order to permit the skittish horses to leave the bridge before entering with the vehicle.
In the center of the old bridge two 4″ x 12″ heavy planks were spiked lengthwise to accommodate the wheels of a car or wagon. Some automobile drivers could not keep their cars on these narrow planks, and would drop 4″ down the sides. Also, when two cars met, it was imperative that both leave the lengthwise planks, and crowd over toward the outer edges as the bridge was barely wide enough for two wagons, buggies or cars to pass each other.
Verne Fischer, owner of Fischer’s Garage located near the east end of the Maupin bridge, was an excellent mechanic, and very impatient person. Frequently when he overtook someone on the bridge who was fearful of driving it and was traveling with great caution, Verne would attempt to intimidate that person to move toward the rail while he drove his Model T (and later, Model A) Ford down over the crosswise planking and past the timid driver.
A vivid memory exists of the great difficulty one attractive woman had in trying to back her new car over the two narrow planks away from a large truck too wide to pass which she had met on the bridge. In backing away, she veered from one side of the bridge to the opposite side repeatedly with damage to her tires as she went up and down off the sharp edges of the 4″ planks.