Preserve Stone Bridge as a county destination

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     I grew up going to the Stone Bridge. When we’d go visit my Grandma and Grandpa Tschantz, (the house right next to the bridge) my siblings and cousins and I would run down there to play any chance we got. It was the first time I got leeches, the first time I went fishing, the first time I daydreamed my knight in shining armor would come out of the woods and rescue me. We had picnics down there; we’d play in the creek on hot days and take a walk in the woods on others. Almost every time I was at my Grandma’s someone would drive up to the bridge, park and get out to go fish, explore or be at peace with nature. Even more often people would stop at the bridge to take pictures of their kids, their significant others and themselves. All of this happening way before cell phones. Imagine how many people would be chomping at the bit to take a selfie at this beautiful and rare bridge if they knew it existed?

     I own a business in town and if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that people will drive pretty far to explore a town/bar/restaurant/park they’ve never been to. It’s all about the destination. How cool would it be if Monticello was a place of destination because we have this incredibly rare three arch stone bridge for people to stop and have their picture taken from the “selfie-stick booth?” Not only is the bridge amazing but also the surrounding woods have a majestic quality, like the kind a knight in shining armor could walk out of at any moment. It would be the perfect spot for a little off-the-road park where people could picnic, have weddings, dinner on the bridge and other fun potential money making events. There could even be a bike trail connected from Stone Bridge Park to local campgrounds and other bike trails!

     The annual Secondary Roads Supervisor meeting was held on Dec. 13 and nothing has been decided about the bridge because the supervisors are waiting for the study being done by University of Colorado engineering department with their preservation plan. So that’s another five years of the county doing nothing to repair the bridge because the supervisors “don’t want to spend county money until they have all the information they need” and because “you have to separate passion from reality.” I disagree. The reality is the passion of the University of Colorado engineering department is cause for them to spend more money in it’s study and possible temporary repair of the stone bridge than our own county in the next five years. Did you know the University of Colorado engineering department has never studied/worked on a bridge outside of Colorado? The reality is it’s obviously all about county money. So let’s take our passion and turn it into a moneymaking reality. We preserve the bridge, turn it into a park and make it a destination for people all over the United States to come visit. In turn the visitors would stay at hotels, camp or bike, go shopping at local stores and eat at Jones County restaurants. You know, spend MONEY in Jones County creating revenue that could easily pay for the repair and upkeep of the bridge and more. The reality is the stone bridge is a gem that few people know about but hundreds of thousands could know about if it were the Stone Bridge Park.

     Jones County is known as the birthplace of Grant Wood. Why don’t we change that to the birthplace of Grant Wood and the World Renowned Stone Bridge Park?

     “To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” (Anne Roddick)


Katie Farrowe

Co-Owner, The Jitney Wine Bar

Monticello, Iowa

     P.S. Donations to the Preserve the Stone Bridge Fund can be sent to F&M Bank in Monticello.


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