JULY 7, 2015
WHO, WHERE ARE YOU IN LAWRENCE CO.?
The original toll bridge that was constructed to connect Louisa and Fort Gay, WV (originally called Cassville, WV) was known as the Louisa-Fort Gay Bridge. It was officially opened to the public at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 1906 with Flem McHenry as bridge-keeper. The original toll charges were three cents each for pedestrians (two cents to go to or from the Point Section) and 15 cents for a car and driver plus three cents for each passenger.
The bridge reportedly was featured in Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not,”syndicated to hundreds of newspapers around the world. The span was considered unique because it crossed two rivers, connected two states, two counties and two towns and had three exits-entrances. A common local joke in giving directions was to tell someone to “Drive to the center of the bridge and turn right.” Such a turn carried a traveler from Louisa to the Point Section between the Forks of Tug and Levisa.
The final tolls were collected on Thursday, September 30, 1971 from Governors Louie B. Nunn of Kentucky and Arch A. Moore, Jr. of West Virginia. The old narrow bridge has been replaced by a wider, more-modern bridge.
…Extract from “History of Lawrence County” and “Lawrence County – a pictorial history”
SONNY BRANHAM, A LOUISA NATIVE AND NOW A PROFESSOR AT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY OFFERED THE FOLLOWING MEMORY OF THE BRIDGE.
“It was owned by the Louisa-Ft.Gay Bridge Co., and the entrepreneurs who had it built were the Rice and Vinson families who made a well-deserved fortune on their investment.