The Peabody Bridge was an architectural landmark in Walkerville that spanned a small area of Riverside Drive near Devonshire Road. This short bridge was built in the early 1910s to serve as a crossing over the CN Rail tracks that ran below. The bridge ran adjacent
to the Peabody Building where its first tenant, the Peabody Leather Label Overall Company, operated. Part of the bridge’s frame was destroyed during the First World War when on June 21, 1915, German sympathizers planted a bomb near the Overall Company because they were manufacturing uniforms for the British Army. The building and bridge were repaired and continued to function for decades to follow.
Since the 1950s, Windsor residents complained that the bridge had become a traffic hazard and caused numerous accidents due to its outdated narrow design. City officials could not agree on whether to modernize the bridge or to remove it. A decision came in the early 1990s when CN finally removed their obsolete rail tracks that ran below the bridge. City officials agreed that the bridge should be torn down and the road leveled to create a safer thoroughfare. Before the bridge could be demolished, archaeologists conducted an excavation at the site in 1992. Records showed that about 60 Norwegian immigrants who were en route to the American West in 1854 died of cholera in Windsor and were buried somewhere along the Detroit riverfront, perhaps near the Peabody Bridge. Archaeologists did not find any human remains, and the bridge was finally demolished in May of 1993.
Bednarik, Currie. “Walkerville Landmark Bombed!” Walkerville Times, November 2001, pg. 14.
Burr, David A. “Peabody Plaint.” Windsor Star, 8 January 1969, pg. 13 (no link available).
“History of Walker Power Building.” Walker Power Building (n.d.).
More, Lauren. “Death of a landmark: Tough right up till the end.” Windsor Star, 18 May 1993, A3 (no link available).
Palser, Lee. “Archaeologists dig for clues to 1854 immigrant deaths.” Windsor Star, 9 December 1992, A5 (no link available).
“Peabody Bridge, Looking West From The Middle Of The Bridge.” Southwestern Ontario Digital Archive, February 1952.
“Walkerville Plant Bombed.” The Evening Record, 21 June 1915, p.1, 3 (no link available).