Saturday, October 15, 2011

Golden Memories

Most of the town had assembled on their side of the bridge as well as the town on the other side. A few calls were passed across the river when one saw a friendly face of someone they knew. Little could be heard above the roar of an approaching car. It pulled out into the center of the bridge honking its horn, being followed by all the bystanders as if in a parade. This new bridge linked two towns that had previously been linked with a small ferry. It was an amazing feat to span this river from a river port to the town across river from it. It had cost $3,200 to create this magnificent span, but all who wanted it felt a good investment for their towns future. It would be a link to the railroad and many opportunities for store owners , tradesmen and travelers to use for decades.This would create a new era for both towns to thrive in, and expand their size to more than double in the next ten years. A new sale barn was being built to handle the influx of all the stock to be traded. It was also to become a central point in a thriving area of towns, all ready to grow and expand into the future. As the car approached the stage on the other side, both mayors looked over their speeches one last time to start a day of festivity for all to enjoy. A band played  and children ran around as if in an open game of tag, dogs yelping at their heels.




Now the roar is only in memories. The children's voices can still be heard if one listens to the sounds carried on a gentle prairie breeze. The field where they played while their parents sat inside looking over the animals for sale stands vacant. A few old pieces of equipment remind passersby of a time when this was bustling every Saturday. Distant towns have a few buildings left standing, with the demise of coal mines nearby, the towns wilted and whithered away. The bridge carried its cargo for many years, but was soon replaced with spans nearby able to carry more weight of the tractors, combines, large trucks, and cars needing to cross the river. The riverboats stopped coming up this river, newer modes of transport were more effective and they whistled off into the past. The bridge is now part of a hiking trail, still used by families from far and near.The town on one side is a struggling artist community with a sprinkling of families who enjoy the remoteness of living in a small town, connected with jobs nearby. The town on the other side only a group of homes, hard to see there was once a city to go and shop at. An Amish buggy rolls past as do a group of motorcycles, down a road designated as, "Historic Hills Scenic Drive". Our group is ready to join them as a pleasure ride will gather almost one thousand riders through these select communities as part of a county wide fall festival.









See you later!

24 comments:

  1. Delightful post! Can you imagine $3,200 for a bridge?

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  2. This is super tiggeriffic pictures~! Yes, there a lot of things that used to be going to the wayside.. Last week a 100 year old house, barn, corn crib were torn down to have a new house and 3 car garage being built. Leone lived in that house and she was 102 years old when she died last year.
    Have a tiggeriffic day~ ta ta for now from Iowa:)

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  3. Beautiful post. I enjoyed the story and the pictures!

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  4. I love the bridge! Your prairie is such a lovely place.

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  5. Enjoyed this. The past is never that far away.

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  6. I was thinking the same thing Linda was... only 3,200? :D

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  7. Wow, only $3200 to build the bridge. Can you imagine the cost to build it today?

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  8. I'm curious about the round building. Was it built as a residence? If so, is it still occupied? Interesting post.

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  9. ...really interesting post. I like how you delivered the history in your story. You have a flair for it!

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  10. Great story and great images.

    Kjell

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  11. Wow---can you imagine the joy of those two towns when that bridge was completed????? BUT--can you imagine anything being built these days for $3200????? ha ha

    Great set of photos.
    Betsy

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  12. I love old places like this and always wonder how the people lived long ago. You bring them all to life. When I see old farm equipment in a field with the weeds and tall grass growing around and through it I always wonder how that person lived and what happened to them. Loved your photos and story Steve.

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  13. Progress eh! It's been around a long time, and we keep making it. Or sometimes not!

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  14. wonderful history and photos, I can only imagine what that bridge would cost today.

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  15. It is super clear that the bridge connected more than two communities! And to think that it was constructed for $3200, can you imagine the millions it would cost today!

    Great portrait of a time when community was of the utmost concern.

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  16. Yes, I'm late...Lolol...
    Looks like Fall is coming to your area Steve!!
    Love the shots!
    hughugs

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  17. Great story and loved the pictures. Thanks for stopping by. I have missed visiting but we have a family member in hospital and we will be in and out of town for a while.

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  18. You have a way of making us feel like we are there. Enjoyed it.

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  19. Wonderful fall photos Steve. Hope you are having a great week. :)

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  20. I had the feeling when I was reading the top description that the bridge's fortunes would change. It's sad it's not the bustle it once was, but nice it is still there for people to appreciate in a quieter way. The countryside looks so beautiful. I hope you enjoyed your time exploring!

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  21. The past always comes to life in your post and photos, Steve. Thanks for sharing your talents once again.

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  22. All bridges connect something, especially men.
    Nice story, Steve !

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  23. $3200! That's amazing! Beautiful story and photos. Thank you!

    And thanks for stopping by! People have been so kind to offer in-put. I've also received a lot of e-mails with links. Still haven't made up my mind. But I'll blog about how all turns out - and include links for more in-depth info.

    Perhaps you should blog about the books you've done. You do great work!

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  24. Good stuff in there - I really want to play in that creek!

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!