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up for strength, and were covered with what was called 'Tarvia' and gravel when the bridge was built; and, what will certainly interest all young people, and bring back memories to others, is the fact that several proposals of marriage were made and accepted while lovers strolled across the span on romantic moonlit nights.
One woman said, "Don't use my name, but I'll never forget the night Jack asked me to marry him. We had known each other for some time but he was shy and so was I, and it was an exciting thing for us just to go walking hand in hand.
Our walk, on the most important evening of my life, was over the newly built bridge. A bright summer moon was casting danc ing rays of light on the rippling water of the Lake. We stopped wa lking and stood admiring the scene. All of a sudden Jack said, "Dear, will you" and before he could finish the sentence I said, "Oh yes! Of course I'll marry you". We have had a very happy married life".
That is only one of the lovely little romantic stories that have been told. It's too bad that we can't relate them all.
When the bridge was built many of our pioneers were cross ing over it in their latter days. Critics may call the architecture of it "obsolete", but to Portagers it isn't just a bridge. It's a senti mental symbol as well.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Polden lived an interesting and happy life on the Island at a time when they were the only residents there, except for Mr. Jim Inglis who succeeded Mr. J. P. Young as custodian of the Park in 1927. Having none of our modern-day conveniences, they read books by lamplight; cooked with a good old fashioned wood burning stove, and enjoyed the companionship of family and friends who came to visit them. Being lovers of nature, they found much to interest them during the daylight hours, and much to share with visitors.
Blue, Canada and Snow geese, and various kinds of ducks be came like tame fowl in this spot where they enjoyed sanctuary. Mr. and Mrs. Polden were always circled by them whenever they stepped outdoors. Crumbs and tidbits were saved for them, and they seemed to know that they were mingling with mortals who loved them.
One pair, a drake and a duck, became special pets and were named Mac and Emily! This attachment had its origination at a time when Emily was in desperate need of human aid. She had stepped into a big spring-trap and there was nothing Mac could do