April 2004 - Dear Mr. Nelson:
I thought you might be interested in an old clipping that was in the Rutland Herald about 1942 or 1943. It is about the "Red Bridge" in Pittsford.
I am also sending an ad of covered bridge checks. I was real pleased to have had one of my photographs chosen.
I enjoy the newsletter very much. It is great so many bridges are being saved. I used to live on Gorham Bridge Road in Proctor.
Helga O. Maguire
Proctor, Feb. 12 - National recognition of his artistic ability has come to Cecil Larson, artist of this town. His painting "The Red Bridge," which he had sent for the annual exhibition of the Swedish American Artists association, recently held in Chicago, was selected by the com mittees of judges as being the outstanding painting in the show.
The work will be purchased by the association, and sent to Sweden, where it will be shown in a permanent exhibit in the Memorial Art gallery, located near the Swedish capital in Stockholm.
The subject for the picture, is the bridge crossing known as "Sucker Brook," in Fredettsville, a short distance north of Proctor. Peculiarly, Larson's first intimation that he had received this award, came from an admirer, a woman of Maywood, Ill., who wrote a poem, in appreciation of Larson's work, with reference to the painting. The woman had evidently lived or visited in Vermont.
Larson is well known in artistic circles in this state. His exhibit at the Manchester show last year caused considerable favorable comment. He has also exhibited at Stockbridge, Mass., Ogunquit, Me., New York, at Palm Beach, Fla., and Vermont shows. He is the son of Mr. And Mrs. Carl Larson of this town.
Robert: I received the attached news clip from member Helga Maguire. She says that the clipping came from the Rutland Herald " . . . about 1942 or 1943." Do you know what this bridge was? If you do, is there a photo available? I'd like to develop this for the newsletter.
YIB, Joe Nelson
I did some research for you and found out that the Mysterious Sucker Brook Bridge in Fredetteville is actually the Cooley Bridge (45-11-07). It turns out that the section of Pittsford where the Cooley bridge is located was known by the locals who lived there as Fredetteville. Using information out of the book Pittsford's Second Century 1872-1997, by Davies, Armitage, Blittersdorf, and Harvie, I was able to find two good entries on Fredetteville. The first entry on page 581 reads "Fredette Families: The original settler Peter Fredette, came from Canada and purchased a portion of the original Benj. Cooley farm on Elm St. south of the Cooley Bridge. The whole area of lower Elm St. is known as Fredetteville." A second reference in the back of the book stated, "Fredetteville: Cooley bridge to Gorham bridge area. Several Fredette Families live there."
After solving the Fredettevile mystery this still left the unanswered question about what is the Sucker Brook, for the Cooley crosses the Furnace Brook. I contacted the Pittsford Historical Society and they told me the section of Furnace Brook that the Cooley crosses has been called "Sucker brook" by the locals that live there. This came about because the suckers would "run" up into the brook from the Otter Creek.
I was able to find some information on Cecil Larson in Pittsford and Proctor Cemetery inscriptions Rutland County Vermont, recorded September 1991 by Margaret R. Jenks. "Cecil Larson was born on Feb. 29, 1908. He was a Pvt. in the US Army during WW II. He died on Aug. 10, 1972 at the age of 64, and was buried at South Street Cemetery, Proctor, Vt."
I hope this information clears the mystery surrounding the Sucker Brook Bridge.
YIB, Bob Cassidy