It’s the end of one era and the beginning of another at a resort in Monroe County. Employees at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort are saying goodbye to their over 100 year old seasonal bridge as they open up the new permanent one today.
It’s the final walk on the seasonal bridge at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Come Monday, it will be taken down for the very last time.
Employee Wayne Dotter says, "I didn’t think I would live to see it. I really never did."
70-year-old Wayne Dotter has been working on the bridge which leads to the island golf course for the past 17 years.
Dotter says, "We’ve put it up and taken it down countless times, the river comes up and wipes it out, then we have to rebuild it and put it back up."
Today he and the other workers got to say their final goodbye but we couldn’t find a sad face in the group.
Director of Golf Steven Taggart says, "I don’t have a lot of feelings toward the bridge. It’s been pretty frustrating for a number of years so I’m happy to see it end and happy to see a new start."
We’re told it’s out with the old and in with the new. The long awaited permanent bridge is now open. Former Golf Superintendent Lance Heil couldn’t wait to check it out today.
Heil says, "Driving across that bridge was somewhat cathartic for someone who has been here as long as I have. So it’s beautiful, it turned out great. Kudos to the Kirkwood family."
The new structure will provide year-round access to the island for the first-time.
Chairman Charlie Kirkwood says, "The golf course is in good shape now but having access all 12 months means we’ll be able to take care of it better. It’s good both for now and for the future."
Not only will this new bridge be better for maintenance, but it’ll connect the resort to new opportunities.
Operator Jon Kirkwood says, "We’re doing over the river and through the woods island tours, and the first one is going out there to visit Santa’s workshop."
Shawnee Inn plans to hold an official opening ceremony for the new bridge in the spring.