FRANKFORT – When Senator Johnny Ray Turner, D-Prestonsburg, took his seat on the Senate floor on the 34th day of the 2016 Legislative Session, his computer screen was filled with “Floyd County: Toll Bridge Opens Markets and Travel.”
Daily during the legislative session, the members of the Kentucky General Assembly are treated to a mini-history lesson on the Commonwealth of Kentucky via their computer screensavers. The Kentucky Historical Society provides the series, “A Kentucky History Moment.”
Senator Turner was already familiar with the story behind the “Old Red Bridge,” but most of the other members of the Kentucky General Assembly were about to learn what he already knew – a little history from the 29th senatorial district.
The story shared on the legislators screen went as follows: “The ‘Old Red Bridge’ opened markets and travel opportunities for Prestonsburg residents and businesses. It crossed the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, providing access to the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad depot. The bridge opened on Jan.6, 1908, and operated as a toll bridge until the late teens. Disrepair caused its closure in 1934; by 1940, it was dismantled.”
“We all understand the importance of knowing our history,” said Senator Turner. “Often we are familiar with the history and legends of our community and our region, but are not as knowledgeable about other regions. This service by the Kentucky Historical Society offers us an opportunity to get a little glimpse into the past of the other counties and regions around the state. And, as Kentuckians, we should all be students of Kentucky history.”
The postcard featured on the site is circa 1915.
“I was proud that my colleagues could learn a little history and get a little taste of my home community,” said Senator Turner.
View the “A Kentucky History Moment” series on the legislative homepage at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/pastmoments.htm.
Senator Turner represents District 29 that includes Floyd, Harlan, Knott and Letcher counties.