Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The "Outlaw" Bridge

The Outlaw Bridge Photocopy of the original plaque by contributor Albert Joseph - Posted October, 2013

Plaque Location

The District of Thunder Bay
The Municipality of Neebing
At the entrance to Pigeon River Provincial Park
2 km west of Highway 61 on Highway 593
[Note: According to an October 11, 2005 Thunder Bay newspaper article sent to me by Dave Fernie, the plaque has been stolen from its location in Pigeon River Provincial Park.]

Coordinates: N 48 01.116 W 89 36.678


Plaque Text

The first bridge across the Pigeon River was opened near here August 18, 1917. In the previous year the government of Ontario had completed a road from Port Arthur to link up with one which the state of Minnesota had earlier constructed from Duluth. Since no provision for a bridge had been made, the Rotary Clubs of Port Arthur-Fort William and Duluth collected funds and materials to construct one and bore the greater part of the cost. The bridge, erected without any formal international agreement, was therefore locally named "The Outlaw". This route soon became a popular tourist road, thus greatly benefitting the Lakehead area. The original wooden bridge was replaced in 1930.



Neebing Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted October 17, 2013
My wife and I were in Thunder Bay last October 1, 2013. While there we attended a United Way fundraiser at the Ontario Parks office. We met some of the staff and the next thing you know, we're talking Ontario Historical Plaques. This is how we learned of the theft of The "Outlaw" Bridge Plaque and the location of The Grand Portage Plaque. We thanked them for the information and left to find The Grand Portage Plaque, amongst a few others. On a whim, we decided to ask for directions at the Ontario Tourist Information Centre that is located at the Hwy 61 Ontario-Minnesota border crossing. The staff were especially helpful and it was from them that we learned more about the theft of The "Outlaw" Bridge Plaque. In fact, knowing of our enthusiasm, the staff dug into their vertical files and discovered a photocopy of the actual plaque which they offered to copy for us. Needless to say we were thrilled and are pleased to share it here for all to enjoy. By the way, everyone we spoke to about the plaque expressed an interest in seeing it replaced.
Albert Joseph

> Posted October 16, 2013
I just explored the old location of the bridge for the first time yesterday. I have become a bit fascinated with the history of river and the area. It is a real shame that someone felt compelled to take the sign, since it represents such an interesting bit of our past...

> Posted June 12, 2009
Perhaps if we throw in a little incentive the plaque will reappear? I'd like to start off with one hundred dollars to have it returned, no questions asked. Jim Osekowsky cowski47@yahoo.com. 952-934-5824.

> Posted December 5, 2008
Sorry to hear about the plaque. My uncle worked as a customs officer and lived there for many years. My group Flipper Flannagans Flat Footed Four have written a song about the bridge and are including it on our next CD. Hope you find the plaque intact.

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