Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Japanese Footbridge by Lake Glacier

Japanese Footbridge across Calvary Run by Lake Glacier, Photo by Robert C. Trube, 2019. All rights reserved.

The Mill Creek MetroParks have numerous footbridges across creeks, ponds, and marshy areas, many constructed during the WPA years of the Depression, as well as a number more recently. One of my favorites is the little footbridge by the Lake Glacier Boat House spanning Calvary Run just short of where it flows into Lake Glacier. It is called “Japanese” in John Melnick’s The Green Cathedral (p. 105) and it is in the style of Japanese footbridges such as this one:

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on

I seem to recall that the Japanese footbridge by Lake Glacier was built when I was a small boy but I’ve not been able to track down the construction date. Growing up on the West side, my dad and I would often go for walks down to Lake Glacier, sometimes to go for a boat ride, or we would just stop and get some pop to drink. We would then cross the boat ramp walk across the bridge and up to West Glacier Drive.

I don’t know whether it is still the case but it was a popular place to take photos of wedding parties. At least it was in the late 1960’s when my brother got married (I’m in those pictures!). By the time we got married ten years later, Fellows Gardens, especially at the Glacier Overlook, was the popular place for wedding photos. In later years, we were at a wedding there and it seemed wedding parties were lined up for photos there, at the Gazebo, and other locations.

As I recall, the blue sky was reflecting on the lake on that late April day with all the greenery of spring just bursting forth. I can imagine what a gorgeous scene it would be in the fall when the trees across the lake are in full color. I also love this photo by Reva Evans Foy capturing the bridge and the Lake Glacier Boat House in winter:

Lake Glacier and Boat House in Winter, photo courtesy of Reva Evans Foy, used with permission.

This is just one of the many footbridges in the park. I love this one for its memories, and the exquisite simplicity of its construction that so fits in with and complements the natural beauty of the park. I think Volney Rogers would have liked it…

To read other posts in the Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown series, just click “On Youngstown.” Enjoy!

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