Bridge gets rededicated


By Mark Richard



At left, Herb Irwin and Ken Riley, right, stand next to the plaque recently constructed at the Otway Covered Bridge. They are holding a picture with Irwin’s grandmother and Riley’s mother dedicating the plaque in 1962.

At left, Herb Irwin and Ken Riley, right, stand next to the plaque recently constructed at the Otway Covered Bridge. They are holding a picture with Irwin’s grandmother and Riley’s mother dedicating the plaque in 1962.


In 1962, Demia Penn and Gladys Riley spearheaded getting the Otway Covered Bridge on the National Registry of Historical places. By doing so they also had a plaque with the history of the bridge constructed on the property.

Over the years, mainly during the late 1970s, the plaque was heavily damaged by gunfire, as well as being pulled from the ground and thrown into Brush Creek.

Recently, families of Penn and Riley got together, with the assistance of Otway resident Bill Seaman to refurbish the plaque and get it back to near its original condition.

A re-dedication ceremony was held Saturday at the bridge with members of the Penn and Riley families. “We’re here to remember generations past,” Irwin said at the re-dedication. He promised not to make the ceremony too long saying it was an important part of the Otway Community to keep the bridge and its history alive.

Irwin said Seaman was instrumental in finding the company to refurbish the plaque as well as his hands on experience in getting the plaque back up for people to enjoy. The cost of the plaque to be refinished was $500, according to Irwin.

“If you look real close you can still see some of the damage,” Irwin said. “They did a real nice job getting it to look the way it does.”

At left, Herb Irwin and Ken Riley, right, stand next to the plaque recently constructed at the Otway Covered Bridge. They are holding a picture with Irwin’s grandmother and Riley’s mother dedicating the plaque in 1962.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2019/06/web1_Bridge.jpgAt left, Herb Irwin and Ken Riley, right, stand next to the plaque recently constructed at the Otway Covered Bridge. They are holding a picture with Irwin’s grandmother and Riley’s mother dedicating the plaque in 1962.

By Mark Richard