Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Flag - Golden State Legends IconCALIFORNIA LEGENDS

Suicide Bridge on Route 66

Join our Facebook Fanpage Legends Forums Follow us when we travel Route 66 Books, Guides & Maps Available Here!

  Bookmark and Share

The majestic 1913 Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California not only wowed early travelers crossing the causeway, but soon took on a more sinister note when people began to leap from the 150 foot bridge to their death. Within a decade of its construction, locals had begun to call it the "Suicide Bridge, and as you can imagine, legends began to abound that the bridge was haunted be those unfortunate souls.

The beautiful concrete bridge spans 1,467 feet across the Arroyo Seco, a deeply cut canyon linking the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River, and containing the intermittent Arroyo Seco Stream for which it is named. The bridge is often incorrectly referred to as the "Arroyo Seco Bridge."

 

 

Colorado Streeet Bridge, Pasadena, California

This vintage postcard of the Colorado Bridge incorrectly

refers to it as the "Arroyo Seco Bridge."

 

In Pasadena's early days, before the historic Colorado Street Bridge was built, crossing the Arroyo Seco was an extremely difficult task. Horses and wagons descended the steep eastern slope, crossed the stream over a smaller bridge, and then climbed up the west bank through Eagle Rock Pass.

The bridge was designed and built by the J.A.L. Waddell firm of Kansas City, Missouri and named for Colorado Street (now called Colorado Boulevard,) which was the major east-west thoroughfare through
Pasadena. Known for its Beaux Arts arches, ornate lamp posts and railings, initial design proved difficult due to finding solid footing in the Arroyo bed. However, when engineer John Drake Mercereau conceived the idea of curving the bridge, he created a work of art.

The first tragedy on the bridge occurred before construction was even complete. Allegedly, when one of the bridge workers toppled over the side and plunged headfirst into a vat of wet concrete, his co-workers assumed he could not be saved in time and left his body in the quick-drying cement. His is only one of the many souls said to haunt the "Suicide Bridge.

The first suicide occurred on November 16, 1919 and was followed by a number of others, especially during the Great Depression. Over the years, it is estimated that more than 100 people took their lives leaping the 150 feet into the arroyo below. One of the more notable suicides was when a despondent mother threw her baby girl over the railing on May 1, 1937. She then followed her into the depths of the canyon. Though the mother died, her child miraculously survived. Evidently, her mother had inadvertently tossed her into some nearby trees, and she was later recovered from the thick branches.

By the 1980s the historic bridge had fallen into great disrepair as chunks of concrete began to fall from its ornate railings and arches. After the Loma Prieta earthquake near Oakland in 1989., the bridge was closed as a precautionary measure. Eventually federal, state and local funds provided some $27 million dollars in renovation costs and the bridge was reopened in 1993, complete with its original detail, plus a suicide prevention rail. Though the number of suicides throughout the years has decreased, the bridge continues to retain its nickname and its ghostly legends.

 

According to the tales, a number of spirits are said to wander the bridge itself as well as the arroyo below. Others have heard unexplained cries coming from the canyon. One report tells of spectral man that is often seen wandering the bridge who wears wire rimmed glasses. Other people have claimed to see a woman in a long flowing robe, who stands atop one of the parapets, before vanishing as she throws herself off the side.

 

In the arroyo below, phantom forms have been seen walking the river bed, a number of unexplainable sounds are often heard, and the atmosphere is often described as "thick.

The Colorado Street Bridge was part of Route 66 until 1940 when the Arroyo Seco Parkway opened. Today, the bridge has received a Civil Engineering Landmark designation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February, 2010.

 

 

Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena, California

Colorado Street Bridge, 1988.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!

 

Also See:

 

California Route 66

Haunted California

Haunted Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena

Pasadena - A Village Inside a City

 

Legends of America Lodging

Book your lodging in Pasadena right HERE online

 



 

 

Free eNewsletter

 

Our eNewsletter features articles on the Old West, travel destinations, ghostly legends, and subscriber only specials from our Legends' General Store. Sent directly to your inbox, grab a cup of coffee and travel the historic paths of the American West. Sign up today!

Visit Legends' Legends' General Store

From Legends' General Store

Route 66 Books from Legends' General StoreRoute 66 Books - Legends of America and the Rocky Mountain General Store has collected a number of Route 66 Books for our Mother Road enthusiasts. As great as Route 66 is, if you aren't armed with a few good tools on your journey, you'll miss great attractions, eateries, places to stay, and wind up on the wrong path. To see this varied collection that includes "how-to" books, travel guides, photograph books, attractions, and more, click HERE!

Route 66 Books from Legends' General Store

                                                                                                          

                                                            Copyright 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com