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Hwy 61 Photo Index      On to Hwy 61 - Pigeon River to Thunder Bay

This page contains historical photos of Ontario's King's Highway 61 dating from 1917 up to 1999. All photographs displayed on this page were taken by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, unless specifically noted otherwise. Historical photographs are arranged in approximate chronological order. Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image!

Please note that all photographs displayed on this website are protected by copyright. These photographs must not be reproduced, published, electronically stored or copied, distributed, or posted onto other websites without my written permission. If you want to use photos from this website, please email me first for permission. Thank-you!

Page 1: Historical King's Highway 61 Photographs


HWY 61 #46

NEW Above - Circa 1925 photo of the Pigeon River International Bridge at the southern terminus of the Scott Highway (now Hwy 61) south of Port Arthur & Fort William (now Thunder Bay). This timber deck truss bridge was completed in 1917 by local community groups seeking to provide a road link between the Lakehead Cities and Duluth, Minnesota. It was soon dubbed the "Outlaw Bridge", as the border crossing was built without any formal agreement or authorization between the Canadian and United States Governments. After the bridge opened at Pigeon River, both governments scrambled to establish a border post at the bridge. The border crossing was eventually formalized with the construction of proper permanent customs houses at both ends of the bridge, but initially, the customs "houses" consisted of a small tent encampment. The original timber deck truss bridge seen here was replaced with a new steel through truss bridge in 1930, but the notorious name "Outlaw Bridge" lived on in local tales for decades to come. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Lovelady Brothers Studios, Port Arthur)





HWY 61 #12

Above - Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) roadside park and campground on Hwy 61 at Middle Falls in 1939. The Middle Falls Roadside Park was located at a beautiful spot along the Pigeon River beside Hwy 61, about 5 miles north of the colourfully infamous "Outlaw Bridge" and the Canada-United States port-of-entry. The DHO initially built this small roadside park in 1937 for the convenience of motorists. The park offered motorists an opportunity to stop and enjoy the scenic view of Middle Falls, which can be seen straddling the Canada-United States Boundary in the background. The park's campground was gradually expanded over the years as motor tourism along Hwy 61 continued to increase. Various new park amenities were added in the 1940s and 1950s. Eventually, the DHO's Middle Falls Park was absorbed into the newly-established Pigeon River Provincial Park. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken on August 28, 1939.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1939)





HWY 61 #3

Above - Circa 1940 postcard view of the Pigeon River International Bridge at the southern terminus of Hwy 61 south of Port Arthur & Fort William (now Thunder Bay). This steel structure was completed in 1930, replacing a timber bridge which had been constructed across the Pigeon River in 1917. The original timber bridge earned the nickname the "Outlaw Bridge", since it was built between Ontario and neighbouring Minnesota without any formal government authorization. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 61 #13

Above - Circa 1945 postcard view of the Pigeon River International Bridge and Customs Area on Hwy 61 south of Fort William. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 61 #21

Above - Postcard view of the Pigeon River Hotel and Esso gas station on Hwy 61 (ca. 1948).
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 61 #49             HWY 61 #50

NEW Left - Resurfaced section of Hwy 61 near Middle Falls. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1948.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1948)

NEW Right - View of the Middle Falls DHO Roadside Park on Hwy 61, located about 35 miles south of Fort William. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken on July 12, 1949.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1949)





HWY 61 #11

Above - View of Hwy 61 approaching the International Bridge between Canada and the United States at Pigeon River. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken on July 12, 1949.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1949)





HWY 61 #4

Above - Circa 1950 postcard view of Hwy 61 near Pigeon River, showing the Middle Falls DHO Roadside Park. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo from Cameron Bevers' historical photograph collection  -  Original photographer unknown)





HWY 61 #25

Above - King's Highway 61 sign and interpretive plaque for the Pigeon River at the DHO's Middle Falls Roadside Park in 1953. In the early 1950s, a new elevated boardwalk was constructed along the Pigeon River which led from the picnic area to a viewing platform on the Canadian side of Middle Falls. A swimming area was created for adults between the boardwalk and Hwy 61 to complement a small children's wading pool which was added to the park's growing list of amenities during the 1940s. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken on August 20, 1953.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)





HWY 61 #51

NEW Above - View of the Middle Falls DHO Roadside Park from the side of Hwy 61 in 1953, showing the new boardwalk and swimming area beside the Pigeon River. The once-busy park at Middle Falls has since been abandoned. The park ceased operations in the early 2000s after nearly 65 years of continuous operation. Apart from the Pigeon River and the highway itself, almost everything else seen in this photo is now gone. The only notable remaining park feature still visible today is the children's wading pool near the former park entrance. This small concrete structure was abandoned and left in place after the park closed. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken on August 20, 1953.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1953)





HWY 61 #45

Above - Circa 1955 postcard view of the Fort William Welcome Arch on Hwy 61 (later Hwy 61B). See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Western Smallware & Stationery Co.)





HWY 61 #29

Above - View of Hwy 61 about 14 miles north of the Pigeon River Bridge in 1955. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1955)





HWY 17 #1309

Above - New DHO Fort William District Office on Hwy 17 (Arthur Street) at the Hwy 61 Junction in 1955. The Thunder Bay (Northwestern Regional Office) is now located on James Street. The former DHO Fort William District Office seen here was subsequently re-purposed after the DHO moved out, although the building itself still stands today at 1825 Arthur Street East at the corner of Kingsway. Note the Hwy 17 & Hwy 61 junction sign assembly at right. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1955.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1955)





HWY 61 #27             HWY 61 #28

Left - Circa 1955 postcard view of the Pigeon River Border Crossing, facing north from the Minnesota side of the bridge. Ontario's King's Highway 61 ends at the Pigeon River Bridge. However, the highway continues south beyond the Pigeon River towards Duluth as U.S. Route 61 (now known as Minnesota State Highway 61). See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Hamilton Photo Co.)

Right - Circa 1960 postcard view of the Pigeon River Bridge on Hwy 61. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Western Smallware & Stationery Co.)





HWY 61 #2             HWY 61 #1

Left - Circa 1960 postcard of the Pigeon River Hotel & Customs Sign on Hwy 61.
(Photo courtesy of Western Smallware & Stationery Co.)

Right - Circa 1960 postcard of the Pigeon River Border Crossing on Hwy 61. See an Enlarged Photo Here.
(Photo courtesy of Western Smallware & Stationery Co.)





HWY 61 #26

Above - New Pigeon River Bridge on Hwy 61 south of Port Arthur & Fort William. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1962.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1962)





HWY 61 #53

NEW Above - Western side of the newly-completed Pigeon River Bridge on Hwy 61, as seen from the Minnesota end of the bridge. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1964.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1964)





HWY 61 #47             HWY 61 #48

NEW Left - Construction of the Kaministiquia River Bridge on the Lakehead Expressway (Hwy 61) in Fort William, Contract #1967-99. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1968.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1968)

NEW Right - Reconstruction of Hwy 61 southwest of Fort William, Contract #1969-01. See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1969.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1969)





HWY 61 #52

NEW Above - Completed Kaministiquia River Bridge on the Lakehead Expressway (Hwy 61) in Fort William (now Thunder Bay). See an Enlarged Photo Here. Photo taken in 1969.
(Photo courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Transportation  -  © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1969)




Continue on to King's Highway 61 Present Day Photos: Pigeon River to Thunder Bay



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