- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)6
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)1
- Temptations bassist dies after Cape Girardeau show (4/26/17)2
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- State Supreme Court rules against congressman's mother in dog-kennel defamation case (4/27/17)1
- Strattman to step down as principal at St. Mary (4/28/17)1
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- New ride-hailing law draws praise from carGo official (4/25/17)
Making a town whole
Restoring the bridge washed away by a 1982 flash flood became a matter of civic pride for the tiny community of Old Appleton.
When erected in 1879, the bridge linked the two sides of town, one in Perry County and the other in Cape Girardeau County. Children who grew up in the community spent their summers jumping off the bridge into Apple Creek or tossing rocks into the water. Old Appleton wasn't Old Appleton without its bridge.
Last weekend, the community of 82 residents celebrated the completion of a project that took 25 years of planning, overcoming setbacks and fund-raising to accomplish. The federal government paid 80 percent of the $519,000 restoration cost. Private donations and the town's road fund took care of the rest.
In one sense, restoring the bridge was not absolutely necessary. The restored Old Appleton Bridge is limited to pedestrians and bicyclists. Vehicles traveling through the area can use the nearby U.S. 61 bridge built in 1931. But in the larger sense, the bridge restores Old Appleton to the hometown those who live there know and love.