Summary Information
Title: Northern Liberties Bridge Company Ledger
Collection Number: DAR.1937.24
Creator: Northern Liberties Bridge Company.

Collection Dates: 1836-1909
Extent: 0.42 linear feet (1 box)

Language: English

The Northern Liberties Bridge Company Ledger is comprised of transactions, minutes from meetings, and contracts made with the state of Pennsylvania regarding the Mechanics Street Bridge, which was built in 1836 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Further administrative records related to operations within Pittsburgh are included. The ledger spans from 1836 to 1909. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

June 2008

Finding aid prepared by Nicole Mader.
Revision Description:
April 2012:
Added links within finding aid to access content selected for digitization.


The Northern Liberties Bridge Company was chartered by the state of Pennsylvania in 1836 to build a bridge from Mechanics Street (later renamed 16th Street) in the Borough of Northern Liberties (incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1837) to span the Allegheny River. The bridge, called the Mechanics Street Bridge, was completed in 1838. It was damaged by fire in 1851 and flood in 1865, and burned again in 1918. Today, the 16th Street Bridge stands where the Mechanics Street Bridge use to be, connecting the North Shore to the Strip District.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

In the Northern Liberties Bridge Company ledger, which covers the years from 1836 to 1909, there is a variety of information, including: contract and rules of the bridge construction, names of stockholders, records of monetary transactions, including all bills paid, and minutes from the board of manager meetings. The ledger commences with the basic information about the project, and then discusses various "by-laws" describing what will happen once the bridge is built and how it will be maintained. For example, there are a few entries written on the intended cost of tolls paid when crossing the bridge. The tolls were calculated by wheels or the horses on a wagon, or other vehicles, and maintains and provides a corresponding price. The rest of the ledger is comprised with minutes from meetings, usually held twice a year, with lists of bills paid and a short section on the changes in managerial staff in downtown Pittsburgh.

Subject Terms

  • Bridges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Design and construction

Corporate Names
  • Kopp & Voegtly Sawmill and Lumber Yard .
  • Northern Liberties Bridge Company.

Personal Names
  • McNeill, H. M.
  • Morrison, William
  • Voegtly, Edwin B.
  • Voegtly, Nicholas

  • Allegheny River (Pa. and N.Y.)
  • Mechanics Street Bridge (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Northern Liberties (Pittsburgh, Pa.) -- History
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- History

  • Business records
  • Ledgers (Account books)

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:


Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Custodial History:

This collection was located in the Darlington Memorial Library in the University’s Cathedral of Learning until 2007 when it was moved to the ULS Archives Service Center for processing, storage, preservation and service. However, it remains in the custodianship of the ULS Special Collections Department.

Preferred Citation:

Northern Liberties Bridge Company Ledger, 1836-1909, DAR.1937.24, Darlington Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Nicole Mader in May 2008.


No copyright restrictions.

Collection Inventory

Box 1
Volume 1 Northern Liberties Bridge Company Ledger, 1836-1909