Before the “new” highway connected Ellwood City to Franklin Township, North Sewickley, and Frisco; there was the Frisco Bridge. After turning from Second Street to South Second Street you would go down the steep hill of Zelienople Road and cross the Connoquenessing Creek into Frisco.
I personally do not remember the bridge as it was torn down before I was born but as my mother’s family lived right by the bridge I have heard a number of stories about the bridge. The stories I remember the most were the wrecks on the bridge, by the bridge, and the Halloween decorations. Yes, I said Halloween decorations.
My aunt, who was still young when they tore down their house to build “the four-laner” or 288, remembers that every Halloween they hung a dummy underneath the Frisco Bridge. It must have been very life-like and traumatizing for her to still remember it forty years later.
The other stories everyone remembers of the old bridge have to do with an automobile accident of some sort. Of those that remember the bridge, almost all of them remember the old barrels of salt along the steep hillside. Someone on this site remembers going down the hill described as every sixteen year olds nightmare. Perhaps the two most talked about accidents were the old gas truck and the circus truck.
It was believed that the old gas truck lost its breaks coming down the hill and hit the entrance to the bridge on the west bank. The wreck on the old Frisco Bridge in 1944 caused the bridge to be closed for a year.
The circus truck was a similar incident just without the thousand gallons of flammable liquid. As has been previously posted, the circus would come to Ellwood City from time to time. On this particular year, they set up on the farm of Ben Parker on Wampum Road. The truck that hauled the cook tent had left before the other trucks to go to the next town to setup for the next day. The truck went through Ellwood City and down Frisco hill across the bridge and wrecked into a house. As you can see from the picture above, the road came to a “T” on the east bank. I have not spoken to anyone who can confirm if the brakes went out on the old truck or if some of the homemade wine that Ellwoodians liked to show off to the circus folks may have been to blame.
There are many, many more memories of the Frisco Bridge so we would like to hear your memories. Please share below or email me at email@example.com