POINT PLEASANT — A new book documenting the Silver Bridge tragedy which has been months in the making will be available Oct. 1.
“The Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967” is a collaborative effort between Martha and Ruth Fout of the Point Pleasant River Museum and Dr. Stephen G. Bullard and student Bridget Gromek, both from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn. The book has been published by Arcadia Publishing described as a leading local history publisher in the United States.
Using the archives of the Point Pleasant River Museum as a launching point, Bullard, Gromek, Martha and Ruth weave together period photographs and firsthand eyewitness accounts to create a compelling narrative of this horrific tragedy, according to Arcadia.
For months, the authors collected photos of the tragedy, eye witness accounts and biographies of the victims, among other artifacts. Many of these images were donated from never-before-seen private collections of local residents. Also, a portion of the profits will be donated to the Point Pleasant River Museum.
Photos and captions fill basically every page of this 127-page look back at one of the worst tragedies in the area and beyond - a catastrophe which took the lives of 46 people. The book covers the construction and life of the bridge, the collapse of the bridge, after the fall, the cause of the collapse, the victims and the legacy of the Silver Bridge.
According to Arcadia, those who have viewed the book say it is a book well done, a book that families will cherish from generation to generation, it is a keepsake, it is a history book.
“The Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967” will be available at the Point Pleasant River Museum beginning Oct. 1 and Martha and Ruth, who work at the museum, will be available to autograph books. A special book signing will take place from 1-3 p.m., Oct. 6 at the museum during Battle Days in Point Pleasant.
Books will also be available at other area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers and through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or call 1-888-313-2665. The book is $21.99, plus shipping and handling if ordered through the mail.
A reception is being planned at the Point Pleasant River Museum on Dec. 15, the 45th anniversary of the fall of the bridge where all the authors are expected to be there to sign books. If you purchase your book early at the museum and want to bring it back to be signed by all the authors you may do so. Several family members of those who were on the bridge, some of the survivors of the collapse, along with retired State Trooper Rudy Odell who was the first law enforcement officer on the W.Va. side to arrive on the scene, will be at the museum on that day.
In addition to the reception at the river museum in December, book signings are being planned in the future for Meigs and Gallia counties in Ohio. The Point Pleasant Register, The Daily Sentinel and Gallipolis Daily Tribune will report times and dates for these signings when they become available.
In addition, the Point Pleasant River Museum has the most comprehensive display of artifacts from the Silver Bridge disaster in the world. Call the museum for more information at 304-674-0144.