Fairview Lift Bridge remains an important piece of North Dakota history a century after being built
FAIRVIEW, M.T. - Nestled about three and a half miles from Fairview, Montana, right by Sundheim Park, is the Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel. The structure and tunnel were built in 1913. Today, many people come by to check out the sights and go through the tunnel.
“I think it’s pretty neat, it’s a pretty cool piece of history. There’s a lot of people who come out and take a look at it on the weekends, especially,” says Jared Daniels, who lives near the park.
The Friends of the Fairview Bridge and the Fairview Chamber of Commerce have been in charge of maintaining the bridge for more than 25 years.
After negotiating with the railroad for ownership of the bridge, the Friends were able to invest their savings to the point where Friends founder Ray Trumpower says there’s more money available now than when they first got the bridge.
The community also helps the organization in maintenance and holding events like putting up Christmas lights and shooting fireworks.
“We have people stop at the bank every once in a while, and just drop off a check. ‘Here, this is for the bridge,’ it was kind of nice,” said Trumpower.
With Fort Union, Buford, and the confluence a few miles away from the lift bridge, Trumpower says the Fairview Chamber likes to promote the area as the “Mondak Historic Hub.” With community support and wise investments, the Friends of the Fairview Bridge plan on continuing to celebrate this hidden piece of North Dakota’s history.
The Fairview Lift Bridge will be featured in the movie “End of the Rope,” a story on the last man lynched in North Dakota. Trumpower says they plan to work on some construction on the far end of the tunnel after the scenes have been shot.
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