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The Reed Clan grew up in the Big South Fork of the Rolling Fork

At one time, every house along the Big South Fork had a swinging bridge, the writer notes, saying. "They created a spectacular sight along both the Little South Fork and Big South Fork of the Rolling Fork." he remembers the thrill of setting up oscillations on the bridges, but his grandfather had a quick way of putting a stop to such activity. He doesn't do that anymore. "I lived dangerously in those days," he writes.
About: Scenic Marion Co., KY: Swinging Bridge near Casey Co. line

By Alan W. Reed

Linda's photo and Lee Murphy's comments brought back special memories for me. The photos were taken just across Casey/Marion County line off KY 49 near Bradfordsville on Big South Fork of the Rolling Fork.

Most of the Reed clan, including my grandparents, Lewis and Chelcie, lived in this beautiful area situated in the knobs.



Their farm home, along with my uncles' and aunts', also had swinging bridges across Little South Fork of the Rolling Fork River.

My family spent most every Sunday afternoon at my grandparents. Being intrigued by the whole swinging bridge concept, I became a specialist at jumping up and down in a synchronized fashion to set up very destabilizing series of waves or oscillations (reminiscent of the Narrows Bridge tragedy). (Tacoma Narrows Bridge)

My grandfather had a way of putting a quick stop to any activity that would loosen planks or otherwise damage his prized bridge. However, he had no problem letting me drive his Ford "N" tractor up and down the creek bed.

Summers on my grandfather's farm in the knobs were spent riding horses and living the life of Tom Sawyer.

I wish Linda could have seen the area around "Little South" and "Jacktown" (off KY 49 towards Houstonville) when every house had a swinging bridge across the creek.

They created a spectacular sight along both the Little South Fork and Big South Fork of the Rolling Fork. Most all of the swinging bridges, supported by steel cables, fell into disrepair and have been replaced with individual concrete bridges.

By the way, my father, George, along with his brother and cousins graduated from Bradfordsville High School and I had an uncle and aunt who taught there.

Alan W. Reed


This story was posted on 2012-02-27 08:24:24
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A view across the floor of a swinging bridge



2012-02-27 - Marion Co., KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Alan W. Reed recalls that his family spent almost every Sunday at the home of his grandparents' place on the Big South Fork of the Rolling River, on the Casey County side, and it had a swinging bridge somewhat similar to this one, in Marion County, which leads to the Jack Evans Place (dimly seen in the background). Life in the Valley was idyllic for a boy, he notes in the accompanying story, whiling away youthful days riding horses and living the life of Tom Sawyer. At one time almost every house along this valley had a swinging bridge. "It was a spectacular sight," Reed remembers.

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