An eastbound train begins to cross the Black River bridge at
The Green Bay Route had a pair of bridges in Hatfield to span the Black
River. The "west bridge" crosses the original channel of the
river; a second "east bridge" was added in 1904 when the river was dammed to
form Lake Arbutus and generate electricity for the La Crosse Water
This photo shows the west bridge around the turn of the last
century. An eastbound train led by what looks to be one of the
Green Bay Route's 4-4-0 engines has just entered the bridge. In
the background is the west dam of the La Crosse W. P. Co.
On October 6, 1911 Hatfield was struck by a major flood, collapsing
the east dam and washing out the east bridge. Stan Mailer's
book "Green Bay and Western" has a short chapter
devoted to the flood and the disruption to railroad service caused by
the severing of the rail line.
The lower right corner of the 3 3/8" x 5 7/16" postcard
says "Photograph No.5, Mfgd.By J.M.Colby,Wausau,Wis." It was
postmarked June 7, 1909 from Nielsville, Wis. Thanks goes
out to Scott Janz
for sharing this postcard.
- Hatfield (1907)
An early view of Hatfield captures the GB&W tracks adjacent to the new
dam under construction.