A Legacy of Brick and Mortar

Fairmont Park Trolley Bridge - Andy

Photo; Andy Roth

Stone and brick defy gravity’s pull
rising in sweeping arches 
neath the Fairmont Park Trolley Bridge
Built with the sweat of immigrants
Sharing their skills
in the midst of struggle to survive
They are the ones who made America Great
leaving their legacy behind 
in brick and mortar 

In the late 1800s immigrants from Europe were pouring into our country by the ship load. They were looking for a better life in the United States. With them they brought their rich cultural heritage as well as their skills in many different fields of work. They worked hard for little pay, but took pride in what they did. They were the blue-collar workers who built this country’s cities and infrastructure. 

The picture above shows the Fairmount Park Trolley bridge in Philadelphia. You can see the skill and creativity that went into this structure, still standing today. The trolley lost out to the newly emerging automobile and the line shut down for good around 1946. This kind of workmanship is seldom seen today. You will notice the arches in the bridge are all made from bricks, carefully laid by very skilled brick masons.  This photo really caught my eye, especially since my grandfather was an immigrant and a concrete mason, very skilled in his work as well. 

Thanks to my nephew Andy Roth for the use of his great photo.

For more information on the Trolley you can click the link below:


42 thoughts on “A Legacy of Brick and Mortar

  1. Basically, I think we are all imagrants except for our original indigenous dwellers .. and sometime I feel our present generation have lost sight of the lands actual history
    A very down to earth and realistic poem Dwight .. and thank you for the link,… a fascinating story …

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said and not said enough. Exquisite craftsmanship sans the graffiti. Your post reminded me of the book, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. A book about immigrants in the 1900s. I read it in middle school and it had a profound impact on me. Have you read it?


  3. Pingback: A Legacy of Brick and Mortar – MECELLA

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