County offered Cacapon River lot for park
by Jazz Clark
Ronald Wilson, president of Friends of the Cacapon River, came before the Morgan County Commission on September 20 to offer a half-acre of land near Fisher’s Bridge, west of Great Cacapon.
Wilson said Robert Tufty, a founder of the Cacapon River group. owned the land and about six additional acres. After his death, the property was passed along to his three children.
The area off Rt. 9 is already a canoe and small boat access point, but Wilson thinks it is historic enough to warrant a park or at least a plaque commemorating the old Fisher’s Bridge.
“We were sorry to see the old bridge go and it probably shouldn’t have been destroyed, but there was just no way to save that,” Wilson said.
They hope to get someone to make a nice sign with a picture of the old bridge and to talk the demolition crew out of three sections of girder from the old bridge to build a stand. Wilson’s group will find funds for the sign.
He is grateful that the riverside area is an access point, as there is very little access to the Cacapon River.
The only other official entrances designated by the State Department of Natural Resources are at Powerhouse Road, Largent Bridge and Great Cacapon Bridge.
An old 20-by-30-ft. pavilion stands on the Tufty property as well, and the site already has parking and a paved public boat ramp owned by the state.
They still need to determine whether additional parking is needed.
There is some hope that a camping area can be worked out, since legal camping spots are few and far between in the county.
Wilson and his fellow Friends of the Cacapon are willing to help in maintaining the area if it becomes a public park.
On a visit to the area, Linda Kjeldgaard, another Friends of the Cacapon member, thought the brush could use some clearing out since the property is highly wooded. Some damage from the recent flood was evident as well, so downed trees may need to be removed.
The land will have to be surveyed, environmentally assessed and insured before it can become a county park. A deed would have to be drawn up.
The commissioners plan to visit the site on Thursday, September 27 and will make a decision whether to go forward at their next meeting.
“I’d like to look at it first, since if we go forward we assume the responsibility and burden to the taxpayers for it and to maintain it,” said Commission President Stacy Dugan. “We need to think about the expense to the taxpayers.”
The land can be accessed by going up Hunter’s Camp Road, since Fisher’s Bridge Lane is currently closed off.