After the Bay Bridge opened in 1936, most of the men who built it began a long journey into obscurity. More than 6,000 of them gave their talents and energies to building a workhorse of a bridge that has served us well over the decades. Most of these men have passed on. Those still alive are deep in the twilights of their lives.
In addition, 26 men died on the job or as a result of injuries sustained during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Here are their names:
Harry V. Hill, piledriver. Died Aug. 4, 1933. Fell 20 feet into the Bay.
Louis M. Knight, rigger. Died Nov. 25, 1933. Fell from tower E4.
W.H. Morotzke. Died Dec. 7, 1933. No other details
Edward S. Hill, caulker. Died Dec. 8, 1933. Crushed by scaffold in caisson six.
Lloyd. J. Evans, diver. Died Dec. 14, 1933. Heart failure.
Frank Swansick, laborer. Died April 21, 1934. Fell into pier E15 center well.
George Lohsen, no other details. Died May 26, 1934. Disappeared working on a barge.
George J. Weikert, bridgeman. Died Sept. 18, 1934. Fell 50 feet.
Donald McEachern, bridgeman. Died Oct. 25, 1934. Knocked into Bay by a broken line.
Bernard Haufman, electrician's helper. Died Nov. 12, 1934. Was not wearing a hard hat when a bolt fell and struck him in the head.
Robert L. Poole, rigger. Died December 5, 1934. Was not wearing a life vest when he was swept off a raft into heavy seas. Body never recovered.
John D. Brannan. Died Jan. 10, 1935. Heart failure.
Adolph Silvertsen. Died Jan. 21, 1935. Fell from top of tower W4.
Christy Thompson, carpenter. Died Feb. 13, 1935. Jumped from pier 24 to a landing five to six feet below, then fell 40 feet.
Bernard Matthews, Navy coxswain. Died Feb. 28, 1935. Jumped when launch caught fire. Drowned.
Henry Dennington. Died June 5, 1935. Slip from top of pier tower W2 on rope and died on impact.
Arthur Lamoreaux. Died June 17, 1935. Fell from pier E4.
Michael Edward Markey. Died July 2, 1935. Fell 290 feet from tower E1.
A. Dillard Lee, sandblaster. Died Aug. 17, 1935. Crushed when a derrick knocked a pile of shingles onto him.
John Carlson, wrecker. Died Aug. 19, 1935. Buried in an earth slide when removing base of a brick wall for San Francisco approach.
Lawrence P. Stephens, wire reeler. Died Sept. 7, 1935. Impaled in head by wire.
Ed Correll, painter foreman. Died Dec. 5, 1935.Fell from top of tower E4.
Paul Shelton, bridgeman, Died March 28, 1935. Thrown off platform by equipment, hit cables, fell 150 feet to the ground.
Charles Bazzill. Died April 9, 1935. Stepped backward off beam, fell through Pier 26 roof on San Francisco shore.
Roy C. Bishop. Died April 22. Skull fractured when ornamental handrail knob fell off bridge and crushed hardhat.
It is important that all these workers and their contribution to the Bay Area not be forgotten during and beyond the waning years of the existing East Span.
With that understanding, the California Alliance for Jobs, owner of this web site, is pursuing the sponsorship of a permanent monument to the men who built the Bay Bridge.
Details will be posted on this page as they develop.