Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mystery Solved! Bridge Piers at Camp Ho Humm

I have known Maxine for over ten years now. Back "in the day", we always tried to have at least one outing during the summer. These trips usually involved camping and a float trip. Getting to spend time around the campfire with her, and her son Jeremy, was a highlight of the summer. Jeremy is now just a few weeks shy of his 20th birthday, no longer a boy, but a Marine. Jeremy's favorite camping spot was a quaint, friendly campground, near Lebanon, named Camp Ho Humm. I was intrigued by the name, but once we arrived there the first time, I was intrigued by the mystery. On the right hand side of the campground is an old bridge pier. I remember sitting around the campfire for many an hour, after everyone else had gone to bed, pondering this "Bridge To Nowhere" . It seemed to me that any bridge would have ran right into the bluff, across the river. I could have asked the campground owner, but was always too busy during the day with floating the Niangua, helping Max prepare meals, cleanup, and just plain relaxing. Both times that we stayed there, I regretted not asking about the old bridge piers when we left. I even mentioned the place as a potential float trip this summer, and remarked on the odd bridge piers.

Tonight, while on a "Google Journey", I came across an old article, "Corkery Rediscovered", written by Rebecca Baldwin in 1979. The article was written for a publication by students at Lebanon High School, Bittersweet.

Rebecca's article tells the tale of a town named Corkery and a bridge that was never completed. The lack of a river crossing turned Corkery into a ghost town, remembered mainly by people who had lived there. It was a town with happy stories, tragic stories, stories of hidden treasure, and stories of illicit moonshine stills. It made me regret even more that I never took the time to ask the camp owner ( a descendant of the owner of the Corkery General Store) about the "Bridge To Corkery". I really would have loved to have visited this place ten years ago. But there are still a few weeks of summer left!

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