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John N. Clarke reminisces | Keeseville Column

My congratulations to all area graduates. Have a safe, fun summer and good luck with the next chapter in your lives. Remember to thank your teachers, family and friends for getting you to this point successfully.

A reminder that on Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. John N. Clarke, retired principal of Keeseville Central School and the AuSable Valley Central School District will reminisce on his days as a teacher and principal at the Keeseville Elementary School. He will also give details about the formation of the present AuSable Valley Central School. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. The event will be in the Anderson Falls Heritage House Museum on 96 Clinton St. in Keeseville. Be sure to visit the ongoing Emmett Pine display as well. Next month, our own George Speedy Arnold will be the guest speaker.

In 1987, the three bridges in Keeseville were together designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Largely this was due to the fact that the three bridges together represent the evolution of bridge design in the 19th century and are all still standing, for the moment. Our Iron Truss Bridge is in trouble. It was closed to traffic in 2008 and is in sad need of repairs. The problem is largely a political one as each side of the bridge is in a different county, so both counties are needed to pay for the repairs. Essex County has confirmed that it will help fund the repair, but Clinton County will not as it does not see the expense as necessary with three other functioning bridges already in place in the immediate area. It is not a question of function but of historic value. The three bridges collectively are a historically recognized landmark for civil engineering. The longer the bridge stays in disrepair the more likely it will collapse. Its 144 year legacy deserves more than that, in my opinion.

Visit my website at www.kylempage.wordpress.com for more details as well as links to my column here and other writings I have. Have a great week.

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