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."


Text Only
Local News
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

Photo reprints