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Old Swinging Bridge Known As Special Piece Of Pawhuska History

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PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma -

There aren't many of them left, but the few swinging bridges that are still around bring back a lot of good memories for many Oklahomans.

It's creaks and squeaks when you walk across.

If the old woods planks on Pawhuska's old swinging bridge could talk, oh, the stories they would tell.

“There's all kinds of stories,” said Pawhuska Resident Frank Curry.

But since the bridge can't talk, Frank Curry will.

“I've seen people cross it on motorcycles before,” Curry stated. “If they'd a got caught, they'd probably be going to jail,” he laughed.  

Curry lives right next to Pawhuska's swinging bridge. He's been using it to cross the creek since he was a kid.

 “We'd come up here and cross the bridge and go up there and practice basketball,” he recalled.

Crossing the bridge isn't for everyone, especially those afraid of heights because when the creek's low, the bridge suspends some 30 feet over the water.

“On a windy, I don't like getting out on it,” said Curry.

A high fence adds a little extra protection, but it wasn't always that way Frank says.

“This fence used to be right here,” he explained. “It wasn't this kind of wire; it was right here. It was kind of scary.”

The bridge was built in 1926 and as the story goes, it was at one time the only way folks could get across Bird Creek and into the town of Pawhuska.

Now folks swing by the bridge just to see it and snap some pictures.

“It's kind of rarity,” said Garrett Hartness of the Osage County Historical Society and Museum. “You're not just gonna go anywhere and find a swinging bridge.”

Hartness says the bridge is a regular stop for tourists these days, and it's still a play place for children or a shortcut across the creek for pets.

But, more than anything, the old swinging bridge is a special piece of Pawhuska history. 

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