Museum Memories: Building the Million Dollar Bridge

Construction workers who helped build the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Photo courtesy of the Cordova Historical Society
Construction workers who helped build the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Photo courtesy of the Cordova Historical Society

Construction and operation of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway meant good work for many men. And Michael J. Heney and E.C. Hawkins were considered to be the “best” among bosses. The workmen expressed great admiration for Michael Heney and showed it by working hard all the time.

E.C. Hawkins, engineer of the Copper River and Northwest Railway construction had nothing but praise for the men who completed the Million Dollar Bridge:

“They were at work at seven in the morning in every kind of weather, and there was not stopping till noon, when the whistle sounded, they were off for the mess house like an army of squirrels. A few minutes later they were racing back to the work just as fast as they had left it. They kept at work until eleven o’clock and often midnight, when it seemed that flesh and blood could stand no more. It was the most amazing exhibition of loyalty, efficiency and endurance that I have ever known.”

This photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society, established in 1966.