Exactly 100 years ago, the Chief John Ross (Market Street) Bridge opened amid gala ceremonies.
On Nov. 17, 1917, about 1,500 people gathered on and around the bridge to celebrate its opening. Hamilton County Judge Will Cummings offered remarks, and people had opportunities later that day to become among the first to drive their automobiles across it.
The drawbridge, which was praised for its design efforts, was the second main bridge to be built across the Tennessee River by downtown Chattanooga since the Civil War.
The Walnut Street Bridge was opened in 1891 in the days before automobiles, although carriages and trolleys went across it.
Although the city was focused on World War I at the time the Market Street Bridge opened and the revolution in Russia was also in the news, a festive day of celebration was still held.
Chattanooga in 2017 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Market Street Bridge with a program by the local Daughters of the American Revolution in early October in honor of the birthday of early Chattanooga settler and Cherokee leader John Ross.
To see the story about that program and more details about the bridge’s opening in 1917, read here.