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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE

THE RIVER CAM RUNS BEHIND SOME OF THE COLLEGES AT CAMBRIDGE-
QUEENS' COLLEGE HAVING A WOODEN BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER. THE
LEGEND GOES THAT IT WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT BY SIR ISAAC NEWTON
WHO ATTENDED COLLEGE THERE. THE BRIDGE WAS SUPPOSEDLEY DESIGNED TO
STAND UP BY ITSELF WITHOUT NAILS, SCREWS, OR BOLTS. UPON CLOSER
EXAMINATION, IT DOES HAVE SCREWS AND BOLTS WHICH ARE EXPLAINED
BECAUSE THE BRIDGE WAS TAKEN APART SOME YEARS AGO TO BE REPAIRED
AND THEY COULDN'T GET IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY.

Submitter comment: THIS LEGEND HAS STUBBORNLY PERSISTED FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS
DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT SIR ISAAC NEWTON HAD
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRIDGE AND THE DETAILS ABOUT IT CONCERNING
THE ORIGINAL BUILDER CAN BE LOOKED UP IN ANY CAMBRIDGE HISTORY
BOOK. IT'S PROBABLY SAFE TO SAY THAT THE YOUNG MEN WHO RENT PUNTS
AND/OR CHAUFFEUR TOURISTS ALONG THE RIVER ARE CHIEFLY RESPONSIBLE
FOR MAINTAINING THE LEGEND.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; CAMBRIDGE

James Callow Keyword(s): ARCHITECT ; ARCHITECTURE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 07-00-1982

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ST. JOHN'S GOLF COURSE

MANY YEARS AGO, A SPECULATOR INVESTED $20,000 IN
LANDSCAPING A GOLF COURSE AND BUILDING A COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE
ON A PIECE OF LAND IN PEARL BEACH, MICH. (NEAR ALGONAC).
ONE DAY THE WHOLE PROJECT SUNK AWAY INTO THE SWAMP WHICH THE
LAND HAD BECOME.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME WHEN DRIVING BY THE ALLEGED SITE. WHEN I
ASKED TO WHAT THE CHIMNEY I SAW BELONGED, I GOT THIS STORY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANCHORVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ARCHITECTURAL RUIN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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