Skip to main content

It's a Wonderful Bridge

Located along US Route 20 (and New York State Routes 5 and 414), Seneca Falls, New York is known for a fair number of important events throughout its history. This town located within the Finger Lakes region of New York State is the home to the Women's Rights National Historical Park, for one. It is also said that Seneca Falls is the inspiration for the fictional town of Bedford Falls in the Christmas holiday film classic, It's a Wonderful Life.

As Frank Capra was developing his screenplay for the movie, he visited Seneca Falls as he had relatives living nearby. There are a number of similarities between Bedford Falls and Seneca Falls, such as the buildings in the towns, the location of Bedford Falls in Upstate New York and the bridge where in the film, George Bailey jumped into the water to save Clarence. In real history, there was a man by the name of Antonio Varacalli, who drowned while rescuing a young woman who had jumped off that bridge. The story of that event was adapted for the film.

In modern times, Seneca Falls does its part in honoring the legacy of It's a Wonderful Life. There is a museum called The Seneca Falls It's a Wonderful Life Museum dedicated to the film located in Seneca Falls. As for that bridge where important scenes from the movie were set, Seneca Falls has a few items of note related to the movie located on the bridge itself. While the bridge scenes were filmed at a Hollywood studio, you can find the inspiration of the bridge crossing the Seneca River (also part of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal) right in downtown Seneca Falls.

Bridge Street Bridge photos:





I have some more Seneca Falls pictures located on my Flickr account as well for you to check out.

Sources and Links:
The Seneca Falls It's a Wonderful Life Museum - https://www.wonderfullifemuseum.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…