Eau Claire, nestled in the rolling hills and valleys of the Chippewa Valley in Northwestern, WI, lies in a region known as the “Driftless Zone.” This is an area of twisting rivers, deep gorges and large hills, which creates a setting for a beautiful Midwestern town. Eau Claire’s downtown area forms…Continue Reading
Bridges have been an interest as long as I can remember. Even when I was a little kid, I marveled at the giant steel structures which would carry roads, railroads and pedestrian trails. The interest really took off in 2009, when a bridge in Carver, Minnesota caught attention of the local media, as Union Pacific Railroad was pushing to abandoned the bridge, and the railroad it carried into my hometown of Chaska. When I took my first picture on a low resolution point and shoot, I was a mere 11 years old.
From there, the interest grew from a simple interest to a full on passion. The passion of photographing and documenting historic (and sometimes non historic) railroad bridges slowly grew. By November of 2010, John Marvig Railroad Bridge Photography became my organization name, and the first website featured about 15 bridges in the Twin Cities and near Grand Forks, North Dakota. The original website was created in a middle school tech class, and launched publicly using a free host. By the beginning of 2011, the idea of expansion outside of commonly traveled areas was created, and a higher resolution camera was used, along with a new knack for the history and design of each structure.
By the beginning of that summer, the photography reached Southwest Minnesota, and by the end of that summer, full on "bridge trips" were created and dedicated to the photography of one area. As the trips became farther away, the history became the main passion, along with the preservation. The bridges became larger, and my interest grew deeper.
By December 2011, I had expanded into Eau Claire, where the Northwestern High Bridge caught my attention. In early 2012, expansion into Iowa was prominent. Summer 2012 brought a major focus on the Eau Claire region, and the Des Moines region. Upon reaching northwest Illinois and the Quad City region in December of 2012, the main website was reconstructed with a new domain name (johnmarvigbridges.org), a completely new scheme and design and more high quality photos.
2013 and 2014 solidified the notion that it was a passion, not a hobby. Today, the photography has expanded to 94 counties in 5 states, and is a cornerstone of my goals of becoming a civil engineer.