The “Canal cleaning before construction” photo in the April 20 Sun Journal brought back fond childhood memories.

Having lived in Pittsfield in the 1940s, and having occasional train rides (steam engine and Maine Yankee trains) to Lewiston to visit our grandparents (Joseph and Leopoldine Samson) — who lived with two of their daughters at 105 Lincoln St. on the fourth floor of the Bouchard Block — we kids (Jerry, Cecile and Carmen Comeau, ages 7, 3 and 5) have fond memories of workers walking across this bridge.

Aunt Ida (Samson) worked the first shift, and Aunt Cecile (Samson/Champoux) worked the second. As young children, one of the things we enjoyed the most during these visits was that Mom (Jeanne Samson Comeau) allowed us to walk to the gate to greet our aunts.

At 10 minutes of three, the bells would sound, meaning that the first shift workers would be replaced by the second shift. The three of us would wait at the gate, watching the hundreds of people coming out of the mill and crossing the bridge, finding Aunt Ida in the crowd and walking back to 105 Lincoln St. with her.

Later in the day, we were allowed to go back to the same gate to greet Aunt Cecile, who worked the second shift, when she crossed the bridge to have her lunch break in a small restaurant across the street from the bridge.

Aunt Cecile would take us into that restaurant and buy us a cold drink. That was a big deal for us kids.

Carmen Comeau Cohen, Lewiston


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