by Frankie Jones
As most of you are aware, my father was one of the bridge tenders of the Snow’s Cut Swing Bridge. My parents moved here from Brunswick County in the early forties to take the job.
At the end of what is now Bridge Barrier Road, where the bridge was located, the state had two three-room houses which were rented to the bridge tenders.
Our family lived in one house and Mr. Holt, the other bridge tender and his family, lived in the other. Our house was the closest to the waterway and the Holt house was about 40 feet south of ours. The bank has now eroded so much that our house would be gone had my father not purchased the house and moved it to Spencer Farlow Dr.
The tenders in the bridge house would keep watch along the waterway for approaching boats. Usually, as a boat approached the bridge it would blow a loud horn to alert the bridge tender. Before the bridge opened bells would ring and a gate would drop across the road on both sides of the bridge to alert cars that the bridge was closed to traffic.
Once the bridge opened, the bridge tender would push a button three times to alert the approaching boat that the bridge was open and ready for their passage. The three loud blasts sounded like a siren. After the boat safely passed, the tender pushed a button for one loud siren-like signal alerting the boater that the bridge was about to close. After the bridge closed and the road was about to be re-opened, the bells stopped ringing and the gates would go up allowing traffic flow to resume across the bridge.