Waterville Thayer Memorial Bridge PlaqueStaff file photo by David Leaming Morning Sentinal
“The Gilman Street Bridge, since named “Thayer Memorial Bridge” , which was undertaken as a C. W. A. project in 1933 was completed under F. E. R. A. early in 1934. Although the cost of this project exceeded the estimate by several thousand dollars, due to a sharp advance in the price of materials after construction started and to difficult working conditions because of extremely cold weather, it is a beautiful, well constructed and useful memorial to the vision and ability of the late Mayor Thayer to plan and bring to pass this project which will be an everlasting benefit to the City. The total cost of the bridge was $72,312.10 of which C. W. A. and F. E. R. A. paid $46,882.51, the State of Maine paid $2,418.61, the County of Kennebec paid $5,432.56 and the City of Waterville paid $17,578.42.
In the 1960’s or 70’s, the bronze dedication plaque was stolen off of the bridge. 10 years ago it was located in a local house being assessed by a moving and landscaping company due to the resident dying, taken, but buried in a storage room full of old lumber. After being found again when the storage room was being cleaned out, the plaque was returned to the city public works dept. September 12, 2015 relatives and kin rededicated the bridge in honor of Mayor Lorenzo Eugene Thayer, who died Sept. 3, 1934, at 51. Thayer is the only Waterville mayor who died while in office. Mayor Thayer was also the local F.E.R.A. official who literally worked himself to death in dealing with the unemployment situation and financial condition of the town in utilizing Federal help in rebuilding the city and providing for the citizens. “Mayor Thayer helped the city through that entire period and was instrumental in preserving the city’s financial interest and financial health of all its citizens and taxpayers.” (Annual Report)
Annual Report of the City of Waterville, Maine www.centralmaine.com http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/10/waterville-regains-a-long-forgotten-but-historic-bridge-plaque/
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on December 26, 2015.
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