Carrying a memory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2023

LEFT: This photo shows the Neville family in 1922, shortly after the opening of the old Ironton-Russell bridge the previous year. In back is Birdie Neville, mother of young Fred Neville, who is being held by his grandmother, Margaret Lucinda Blankenship. Standing with them, at left, are Birdie’s sister, Myrt, and Fred’s Cousin, Chester. Fred, who was a World War II veteran was too ill when the new Oakley C. Collins Bridge opened in 2016 to replace the old span to take part in the festivities, so his brother Bill Neville, walked both spans in his honor. Fred died shortly after that event and, each year, since, Bill, 96, also a World War II era vet, of South Point, walks the new bridge in memory of his brother. The bridge’s original wooden planking is visible in the photo. (Vintage photo provided by Bill Neville) RIGHT: Bill Neville, walking the new bridge in 2020 with a photo of his brother. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Email newsletter signup