Before the bridge was built, people needed to cross the Chippewa River at Durand by ferry.  The first ferries at Durand were simple platforms pulled across the river with ropes.  Later, these ferries would be replaced by a steam ferry.  Eventually, the ferries would be replaced by bridges.  The Durand Bridge (pictured bottom left with a ferry) was started in 1884 out of wooden beams.  It was built at the cost of $17,000 and was operated as a toll bridge. It was able to rotate to make room for passing ferries.  The cost was 25 cents per team each way across the bridge, or 40 cents both ways, foot passengers were charged 5 cents.  The original bridge  was operated from 1884 until February 11th, 1906 when it was destroyed by a windstorm. 

                                                   

 

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