Photo provided by the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department
BH Photo #100627
My grandfather and two of his brothers opened an Otasco store in Black Rock after my grandfather returned from WWII (if I am remembering the story correctly as told to me by my mom). They had a great business going until the new bridge was built because people were afraid to cross the old suspension bridge. This meant that shoppers on the West side of the river were a captive audience, so to speak. Once the new structure was built, people from Powhatan and Black Rock had easy access to Walnut Ridge, and it was bye-bye Otasco!
We crossed this bridge many times in my childhood. Loved that old bridge.
We crossed this bridge sometimes when I was a small boy. It was narrow and high and very scary. The cross planks were always loose and clattered as you hit each one. The longitudinal planks formed two tracks about 2 feet wide where you were supposed to drive. There was a curve in the bridge on the east side, adding to the fear factor. The bridge always shook as you drove along.
Harry E. Bovay, Sr. was my grandfather we are trying to collect any information about his bridges for historic purposes. Please contact me with any information you might have. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in 1944 and remember crossing this bridge with my family several times. Always scared. My dad would tell us to hold our breath to make us lighter! Of course we could never last the whole trip.
Side note. My grandmother and grandfather rode horseback from the Clover Bend area to the courthouse in Powhatan to get their marriage license. My grandmother rode side saddle!
Fantastic childhood memories, going from RiverView to Walnut Ridge, over this bridge. There was a fee to cross it. (also if you took the ferry) But to me a beautiful expanse of water as we "rumbled and shook" crossing over the one lane bridge. Mom, scared, saying "watch out", Daddy laughing as he drove along. I enjoyed it along with Daddy.
My Mom went across the bridge in a rumble seat....she is now 74..that must have been a scarey ride !
The four main span concrete pillars are still standing on sight.
I lived in Paragould, AR, in my teenage years and often with my family we'd travel U.S. 63 between home and Missouri. We never traveled over this bridge; too scary looking, according to my father, and besides, there was a toll. The state operated a free ferry a short distance upriver and we'd utilize that crossing. Whoooeeee! These photos justify my father's fear.