Today in 1963, the opening of a bridge in Longview, Washington.

But this wasn’t a bridge for cars, or bikes, or even pedestrians.

It was a bridge for squirrels.

The full name is the Nutty Narrows Bridge.

It was the idea of Amos Peters, who ran a construction company in town.

Sometimes people in his office building would put out nuts for the nearby squirrels, only the animals would run through traffic to get them and sometimes cars would run them over.

Peters saw this happen to a red squirrel; he took it home and put it in the freezer, while his mind dreamed up a way that squirrels could safely get to the nuts.

He proposed a squirrel-scale suspension bridge, 60 feet long, hanging from the trees over Olympia Way.

And he worked with other engineers and architects from his office building to finalize the design.

(Apparently none of the people he consulted thought building a bridge for squirrels was a weird idea, which is kind of heartening!)

The city council did not think the idea was nuts, especially the part where the companies involved would cover all the costs.

And so they built a real squirrel bridge, which got attention from all over the country, especially from animal lovers who were thrilled that somebody was looking out for the squirrels.

As one fan letter said of Peters, “Little men take time to cater to big people who might do them good. Only big men pause to aid little creatures.”

The Nutty Narrows Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

And that red squirrel, the one whose demise inspired the bridge?

Amos Peters’ kids had it preserved and they gave it to their dad for Christmas 1963.

It later went on display at the construction company headquarters, though I don’t think it used the bridge to get there.

This month at Milan’s Palazzo Morando, there’s a special exhibit with a lot of style.

It’s a collection of photos by the late Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni, who specialized in documenting the colorful street fashions of people in the Congo and other African countries.

Nutty Narrows Bridge opens in Longview on March 19, 1963. (HistoryLink)

African Street Style and Global Subcultures Celebrated in Retrospective Photography Exhibition (My Modern Met)

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Photo by Bruce Fingerhood via Flickr/Creative Commons