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Prof. Jim Cooper Quoted in Story on Fate of Historic Covered Bridge Destroyed by Fire

May 7, 2007

May 7, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - James Cooper, professor emeritus of history at DePauw University, "has studied and written about historic bridges since 1979," notes Mark Bennett in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. Cooper is quoted in a story which reports that a fund-raising drive to rebuild the historic Jeffries Ford covered bridge -- destroyed in a 2002 arson fire -- has come up short. As a result, the covered bridge will be replaced by a concrete span.

Dr. Cooper tells the newspaper, "There are real issues there, but the question is, 'What do you build?'"

As Bennett points out, the county considered that "the covered bridges lure 2 million visitors who inject their disposable income into the local economy during the 10-day Parke County Covered Bridge Festival each October." But, in the end, "In a place steeped in heritage, county officials have opted for practicality. The Parke County commissioners have decided to replace Jeffries Ford with a regular, uncovered bridge."

Read the complete story at the Tribune-Star's Web site.

Jim Cooper received the 2006 Servaas Memorial Award for his historic preservation efforts. Learn more in this previous article.

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