Legion footbridge to be restored

The Howard Gardner-American Legion Post 281 will be restoring their historical footbridge that allows its members and the people of the Tyrone community to gain access to the Legion building from its parking lot.
The Legion is celebrating its 82nd birthday this year. The Tyrone Post of the American Legion was organized in the summer of 1919, with an application for a charter being dated August 27, 1919, and the charter being dated September 4, 1919. A permanent charter was granted September 15, 1920.
This post was the recipient of a gift of money amounting to $25,000 from John G. Anderson, a public spirited citizen of the town, and this sum was used in acquiring the J.K. Johnston property at Lincoln Avenue and 15th Street, where extensive alterations and repairs have converted this property into a most attractive home for the Legionnaires and their guests, and where a Legion Club is being operated along with the Posts many other activities.
The American Legion in Tyrone is named in honor of John Howard Gardner who was born in Tyrone on the 26th day of June 1895. Gardner was the first Tyrone soldier to lose his life on the battlefields of France in World War I, on the 28th day of July 1918.
With the Legion’s long history and constant place in Tyrone, renovations and improvements are inevitable. This past August 11th, the post hosted an open house to show the recent improvements to the building. Those included two major room renovations and several capital improvements, aimed toward increasing the members and their guests enjoyment of the organization.
Now that those improvements are in the past, the Tyrone Post has focused on major repairs that need to be done to the footbridge at the entrance to the club. The right side of the footbridge is pulling away from its base.
K. Talmadge Cupp, Home Association Secretary of the Tyrone Post of the American Legion, stated, “The restoration has to be done because the weather has separated it and everything that goes along with that. It’s deteriorating and we don’t want to see anything happen because of a deteriorating bridge.”
The footbridge was first built around 1927 and it has been damaged and reconstructed twice due to the 1950 and 1972 floods that swept through Tyrone and the surrounding area.
The cost of restoring the historical footbridge will amount to $19,000. The Legion has already raised close to $12,000 towards the project, which is being constructed by Stone Valley Construction Co. based in Pine Grove Mills.
The post has made a substantial investment on the bridge repair, but they need the help of their members and interested people in and around the Tyrone community to help cover the complete cost of the ‘Bridge Renovation Fund.’
Cupp added, “What we’re going to do is restore the footbridge, but it’ll be different. We want the bridge to be appealing to our members and anybody else from the community.”
The Legion and Cupp extend their appreciation for anyone who is interested in considering a donation to assist in the cost of the footbridge renovation.
Stone Valley Construction Co. will begin renovations of the Legion footbridge this coming Monday, September 23.