“What a Day It Was!”: The Inauguration of a Bridge Between Kentucky and Ohio

November 25, 1931

A suspension bridge crossing the Ohio River was opened. This structure, which had been designed by the firm Modjeski and Masters, serves as a link between the city of Maysville, Kentucky, and the village of Aberdeen, Ohio. The 1,991-foot (607-meter)-long bridge was named after Simon Kenton (1755-1836), a famous frontiersman and soldier in that region. His friends included fellow frontiersman Daniel Boone.

The Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge was opened to considerable fanfare. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported, “Motorcades and delegations from various parts of [both states] and from neighboring villages on either side of the of the Ohio River began to arrive early and ‘what a day it was!’” This newspaper further noted, “State officials, members of automobile clubs from Cincinnati, Covington, Lexington, Georgetown, Paris and even as far as Louisville came into [Maysville] with banners flying. Drum corps and bands joined in a colorful parade.”

The dedication ceremony took place on the central section of the bridge. The public officials on hand for this event included George White, governor of Ohio; and Ben Johnson, chairman of the Kentucky Highway Commission. A four-year-old girl named Jane Young cut a ribbon to officially open the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge to traffic. Her father was Albert W. “Allie” Young, a Kentucky state senator who died earlier that year.

“Dedication of this bridge spells a new era for Maysville and for Kentucky itself,” asserted the Cincinnati Enquirer in its coverage of the opening day festivities. “By replacing the old steam ferry which used to be the sole connection between Aberdeen, Ohio, and Maysville, delay is wiped out.”   

Photo Credit: Greg Hume (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Kenton_Memorial_Bridge

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