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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Tales from the old-timer

Rejoice

History repeats! Well, sort of. My first cousin once removed, Kateri Dupuis, youngest of the children of Edmund and Emaline Dupuis, sent me a clipping from the Peshtigo Times of Wednes-day, July 25, 1984 that told of the completion of the last renovation of the bridge in Peshtigo that spans the Peshtigo River. It told that the old bridge had been built in 1924 by Stein Construction of Milwaukee at a cost of $55,000. All of this was before the recently completed bypass of US 41, which has made access to Peshtigo’s west side more convenient. An earlier bridge had been wrecked by an ice jam during a hard winter.

Kateri’s mom had contributed a poem called “Rejoice” about the inconveniences met with during the 1984 project. And that’s why Kateri saved the old clipping.

The following poem, composed by Mrs. Ed Dupuis, the former Emaline Archambault of Peshtigo, in 1924, shows the exuberance with which at least one Peshtigo resident greeted completion of the new bridge. Residents of 60 years ago had apparently impatiently awaited opening of their new highway link with Marinette and the world beyond.



REJOICE



At last, “The Bridge” is almost done!

Rejoice, rejoice! Oh everyone;

For months, we were shoved about.

Rejoice now! With a shout.

Cry out your woes

But shout your joys;

Rejoice you jolly girls and boys.



Folks say “The Bridge” is well nigh done,

Be glad! And hope for lots of sun.

Folks, sometimes tell a fib or two.

Be not a Thomas, this is true

For weeks we’ve strained our heavy eyes,

For weeks we’ve choked our weary sighs,

Tired of crossing railroad ties.



Papers say “The Bridge” is almost done.

If we, all pray for lots of sun!

The men are busy every day

Nailing bolts round everyway,

Screwing nails in iron bars

Flushing paint to reach the stars;

Welding cement with a tablespoon;

Keeping time to radio tunes.

Oh, Yes! “Our Bridge” is almost done,

Rejoice! Old Dobbin! Try! Run!



Gossips say the bridge is done,

Small boys seek out every way

In which to show they are at bay,

To decorate that bright new paint,

With ugly words, not for a saint.

Oh, Yes, that bridge is almost done;

Rejoice, little pups and doggies too.

Long ‘nuff since you got thru.



The bosses say they’re almost done

of the bridge in this here Burg,

Which joins the world around

With our glorious little town.

Now, to remove the junk and dirt?

That is the result of every work,

That is another story tho.

I ran off my subject, so.

All, cause I stubbed my toe

A’goin on the bridge one Sunday morn.



Rejoice! A happy day is born.

Rejoice! Our Bridge is done;

Rejoice! Our town will grow.

Busy and more busy, with the show,

Folks will come from miles around

Whisperin’ love words to the town

Ain’t she a beauty?

Ain’t she some town?

Yew, our bridge is surely there,

Come on - Tin Lizzie

We will see our share.



Mrs. “D”


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841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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