Project Aims To Preserve History Of The Silver Bridge Collapse

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The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are working on a project that will preserve the history of the Silver Bridge Collapse.

When the Silver Bridge near Gallipolis collapsed on Dec. 15, 1967, more than 30 cars were sent into the cold Ohio River, killing 46 people.

Director of Cultural Advancement Gregory Miller said the idea behind the project is to gather personal stories about the incident before the storytellers are gone.  

"I was talking to a fireman who had only been at work one week and that was the first significant call he'd been on," said Miller. "And he said now every fireman that he was working with is deceased, with the exception of himself. He's the only one with those memories and we'll have a chance to capture him on video."

The River Tales project is funded in part through a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council.

Miller said he thinks gathering these stories is beneficial to the region's history.

"It's important to tell your stories and I think the more mature some of our area residents become, the more important it is to get those stories told where they'll be of benefit to future generations," said Miller.

Participants will have their interviews videotaped for a searchable database archive.  Photos, family letters, newspaper articles and officials documents will also be archived.

Miller said they will archive the stories on a website which is launch in May of 2013.