Caddo Lake Historic Drawbridge And Graceful Ghost Steamboat Tour

The Caddo Lake Historic Drawbridge is a vertical single-vehicle drawbridge that was built in 1914. It’s on Caddo Lake and 14 miles northwest of downtown Shreveport. If you are a fan of historical places and things, visiting the Caddo Lake Historic Drawbridge is worth considering.

The Caddo Lake Historic Drawbridge:

Initially, the north and south side of Caddo Lake was connected via a ferry. However, advancements in technology caused the ferry to be replaced with the Caddo Lake Drawbridge.

Mr. John Alexander Low Waddell of Waddell and Harrington Bridges designed and Midland Bridge Company built the bridge in 1941. The bridge uses an innovative Vertical Lift system invented in 1893.

In 1941, as the US Army was preparing for WW II, they held maneuvers in and around Mooringsport. They practiced ‘Capture the Bridge’ and also bombed the bridge with sacks of flour to simulate airplane bombing.

Initially, the bridge had concrete counterweights that were used to lift the center platform to let boats pass underneath. However, after the bridge was not needed to be lifted in the air, it was decided to drop the counterweights into the lake.

Later, in 1989, the DOTD approved a plan to create a new 2-lane bridge just east of the old bridge. However, the decision to demolish the old bridge came under heavy opposition. The citizen’s campaign worked with officials and political leaders to turn the old bridge into a tourist attraction and pedestrian walkway. It also became a civil engineering landmark.

In the end, on June 26, 1991, the Caddo Parish Commissioners accepted the bridge as part of the Caddo Parish. It was also registered on the National Register of Historic Places. On September 13, 2014, the Caddo Lake Historic Drawbridge turned 100 years old and was celebrated by the locals.

The Graceful Ghost Steamboat Tour:

While at the Caddo Lake, you can also look at joining a tour on the Graceful Ghost Steamboat. Boarding from Shady Glade Marina, The Graceful Ghost is a replica of an 1800’s era steamboat. It paddles its way in to become a must-try activity at Caddo Lake. The steamboat tour is also a great way to enjoy the history behind the boat and Caddo Lake.

The steam-powered paddle-wheel boat is the last one of its kind that burns wood for fuel. It sets off from Big Pines Lodge and sits 34 passengers. The guides are well-versed in the history of Caddo lake and can give you a worthwhile history lesson.

To book your Graceful Ghost Steamboat Tour:

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