The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 30, 2013

Swingin' right along

FAIRFIELD — Thousands of children have walked across the swinging bridge in the Jefferson County Park. This 30-year-old landmark has been through a lot over the years, but now it has new life thanks to countless donors and volunteers.

In 1983, while building a trail from the picnic area to the campgrounds, it became apparent that the park needed a bridge to traverse the many creeks. Ebb Camelin offered the idea of a swinging bridge like the one he had seen in Columbus Junction. It would just need to be on a smaller scale.

Thirty years later, the original post remains, but the modern, updated swinging bridge has just completed its third makeover. Following in the footsteps of two special people, Camelin and Ali Moradi, Shawn Morrissey and Bob Leazer have been working on the bridge for the last year.

At the dedication ceremony Tuesday, Dennis Lewiston, park director, explained that the report came in two years ago that the bridge was on its last legs. It was either tear it down or fix it up.

"This is a landmark in the park," he said. "So many people said, 'I want to spend money to help. When I was a little kid, I remember that bridge.' It has special meaning, and it's still here. I hope people enjoy it."

And so the fundraising began. Park Board member Kathy Tollenaere was willing to put her heart and soul into fundraising, and it paid off, literally. Through T-shirt sales, knocking on doors and meeting with service clubs, $10,000 was raised.

"And we spent all but a couple hundred of that," Lewiston said.

While it may seem like just another bridge to some, the swinging bridge has a much more important meaning.

"Here in Jefferson County, this bridge is for the community by the community," Tollenaere said. "I'm so proud of our community for doing this. It's an asset to Fairfield and the local community."

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420 OTT Gothic house easter web-color photo American Gothic House celebrates Easter weekend Kids participate in an egg roll competition Saturday on the American Gothic House lawn in Eldon. Families were invited to come and participate in Easter-themed events and make crafts. They also had the opportunity to dress up and pose in front of the

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0422 OTT Egg hunt color photo -L On a roll this Easter ELDON — If you pulled up to the American Gothic House Center Saturday afternoon at moments before 1 p.m., you probably had to park halfway down the road. Cars filled the parking lot and spilled out onto the street as parents and kids from all over so

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition