Monday, May 15, 2017

From the archives: Vicksburg's Fairground Street Keystone Bridge

Photo taken on 4 ×5" Fujichrome 50 film, 75mm f/8 Super-Angulon lens.
The Fairground Street Bridge crosses over the Kansas City Southern rail yard at the bottom of the hill below Fairground Street and east of Levee Street. The bridge was open when I first moved to Vicksburg in the mid-1980s and was open as late as 1993.
There was, and still is, an abandoned tank farm at the west end of the bridge. In 1990, I went into the grounds with my daughter and we climbed one of the spiral stairs to the top of a tank. I set up my 4x5" Tachihara camera and took some exposures on Fujichrome 50 film. The tanks had open valves and nasty fumes were venting into the air. This must have gone on for years (this is Mississippi, after all). These 1990 photographs show the bridge when it was in much better condition and the access road on the west side had not collapsed. These are resized to 2400 pixels wide, so click to see details.
View east across Fairground Street Bridge, 1990, 58mm f/8 Super-Angulon lens.
My photographer friend in town let me use his Epsom V600 scanner to scan the transparencies. The light platter is just wide enough to hold a film holder for 120 film, so even with the 4x5 sheets directly on the glass, about 1 cm is cut off. But I cut off excess sky, so the important parts of the scenes are present. The 16-bit color TIFF files are 220 mbytes each.
View west along Fairground Street, 2017. A light leak in the Hasselblad film back caused the flare.
Levee Street view north, 1993, 4 ×5" exposure, Fujichrome 50 film.
At one time, the bridge was going to be moved to the Catfish Row park near the Corps of Engineers Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum (910 Washington Street), but the plan never came to fruition. So it remains at the bottom of Fairground Street, rusting and decaying. Fate unknown.
April 2017 view of the bridge from the south. Kodak Tri-X professional 320 film, Zeiss Planar 80mm lens.

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