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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bridge Dedication Coming May 30th

Evansville Will Dedicate Bridge to Veterans May 30 The newly rebuilt, pretty bridge on Main Street, where it crosses Allen Creek in Evansville, will officially receive its new name and display a new historical marker at a dedication ceremony Thursday, May 30, the original Decoration Day. The new name, selected from dozens of local entries by a panel of local judges in a bridge-naming contest, is “CCC Veterans Memorial Bridge.” A ceremony will be held at the bridge on the traditional Memorial Day, May 30, at 3:30 p.m., with Main Street closed briefly for the event. At 3:45 p.m., a reception will be hosted by Matthias and Lisa James of Allen Creek Gallery, 137 E. Main St. The art gallery, in a historic building immediately next to the bridge and Allen Creek, endured a summer of hammering and shaking during bridge reconstruction. The public is invited to the dedication ceremony and the reception. Please bring your own lawn chair if you plan to linger at the outdoor reception and enjoy a presentation about the CCC. The initials CCC stand for Civilian Conservation Corps, a group that did local work along Allen Creek. The bridge name is takes note of their history and efforts, which will be presented by CCC historian and author Bob Moore of Verona. He will present his address “The Civilian Conservation Corps in Evansville” during the reception. During the dedication ceremony, a new bridge State Historical Marker plaque will be unveiled, purchased with money from the naming-contest fundraiser. The plaque—with name and brief history—was acquired through the State of Wisconsin’s marker program when it was determined that the bridge site met historical significance criteria. The cast aluminum, bronze-colored marker is 16 x 24 inches and will be permanently mounted on the bridge. 2013 marks the 80th anniversary of the CCC’s public building projects in many communities in Rock County. Company V-1680 arrived in Evansville on July 25, 1933, and camped in tents at the County Fair Grounds, then located in Evansville near present-day Fair Street. A monument erected by the company is visible today on the School-Community Forest grounds on Fair Street. While here, the Corps focused on flood control, preventing soil erosion, and other conservation projects. One of their projects involved rip-rapping alongside Allen Creek, including the area near today’s bridge. They left in December 1933 for winter quarters in Illinois. What made this particular Corps special was its “V” designation, signifying a company composed of military veterans. According to an article in the July 27, 1933, Evansville Review, 200 veterans of “the World War” arrived in Evansville. All were Wisconsin residents, and many were members of the Wisconsin Brigade, 32nd division. In addition to Moore’s brief presentation at Allen Creek Gallery, guests are invited to visit Evansville Memorial VFW Post 6905, occupying the former train depot also near Allen Creek. For more information contact Sue Berg at 882-0986 or suebergsolutions@gmail.com.

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