Simmons to Speak About 1570 Covered Bridge in China

Simmons at the Xidong Bridge located at a community called
Sixi in Taishun. The bridge was originally built in 1570.

David Simmons will talk about Covered Bridges in China and a "Sisters Bridge Agreement" with a covered bridge in Ohio when he speaks at 7:30 Tuesday evening, June 9th in the Myers Inn Meeting room. The talk is held by the Big Walnut Area Historical Society at their monthly meeting and open to the public. Admission is free.

Simmons was invited to the Fifth Annual China Taishun Covered Bridge Culture Tourism Festival in November 2013 held in Taishun County, Zhejiang Province, China. The goal of the festival is to promote tourism in this very remote, mountainous part of southeastern China. "I was invited by the president of the Wenzhou Covered Bridge Culture Society, China’s first covered bridge organization, despite the fact that they have had covered bridges in their country for hundreds of years. I had met him and a delegation of Chinese at the 2nd National Covered Bridge Conference in Dayton, Ohio, of which I was program chairman," explained Simmons. While there he signed a "Sister Bridges Agreement" in which a covered bridge in Taishun County and a covered bridge in Ohio were informally "connected." That will be the main topic of his talk, explaining the background and meaning of the agreement.

A Galena resident, Simmons has been an employee at the Ohio History Connection since 1976, first in the Historic Preservation Office and then on the staff of the popular history journal Timeline. Now he is officially retired and working only part-time as senior editor of the magazine.

Simmons is president of the Ohio Historic Bridge Association, in which capacity he planned and oversaw the restoration of Muskingum County’s only remaining covered bridge. He has been part of the advisors and writers for multiple statewide historic bridge surveys conducted by the Ohio Department of Transportation and have received several national writing awards from the Society for Industrial Archeology.

Big Walnut Historical Society meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month.  Most meetings have a historical topic and all are free to members and the public.

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