Staff Report

The Cow Bayou Swing Bridge along with a photo of the bridge adorned by the Bridge City High School 2007-08 Strutter dance and drill team is featured in the Medallion Magazine published by the Texas Historical Commission.

The November/December issue of the Medallion highlights the latest Texas properties named to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service named the Cow Bayou Swing Bridge to the National Register this year following recommendations by the THC. It became the sixth Orange County property to make the prestigious list.

The BCHS Strutters posed on the Cow Bayou Swing Bridge in celebration of ‘50-Years Proud’ commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the high school. The image would become iconic in the Bridge City Citizens For Historic Preservation’s quest to save the bridge and later nominated it to the National Register.

“The 1940 Cow Bayou Swing Bridge is one of the last three historic movable bridges in Texas,” the article states. “The construction of the swing bridge completed the last gap in the most direct route between the cities of Port Arthur and Orange. The route was improved by the 1938 construction of the Orange-Port Arthur Bridge (now known as the Rainbow Bridge) and other work to pave, widen, and straighten the road.”

“In recognition of the importance of these two bridges to the local economy, the town of Prairie View changed it’s name to Bridge City shortly after construction was completed.”

The National Register is the country’s official list of significant historical resources, including more than 3,000 listings in Texas. “The properties represent the real stories of Texas’ captivating history,” the article states.

The November/December 2010 issue of The Medallion, the Texas Historical Commission’s official magazine, is now available in electronic format on the agency’s web site at Copies of the magazine can be ordered from the THC.