A wooden walking bridge at a park in the Cumnock area which is maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers was destroyed by vandals this week.

A report has apparently been filed with authorities Chatham County after the destruction of a wooden bridge at Deep River Park, which straddles the Lee-Chatham county line around the historic Camelback Bridge. The walking bridge is on the Chatham County side of the Deep River.

The roughly five-acre park is owned and overseen by the nonprofit Deep River Park Association, which played a large part in preserving the historic Camelback Bridge. The Rant wrote about the association’s efforts to maintain the park in 2017:

On paper, the Deep River Park Association is an official nonprofit organization, sanctioned by the state of North Carolina to raise money for the purpose of preserving the bridge and the park surrounding it. In practice, it’s a small group of dedicated volunteers who’ve been responsible for the endless task of maintaining a century old piece of history and the land surrounding it. Harrison said the work is worth the trouble because of the park’s special meaning to the surrounding region.

“It’s amazing how many events we have at this park,” he said. “There have been baptisms, and weddings, church events, ice cream socials, bands playing on the bridge. There’s just so much history – everybody’s caught a fish there, everybody’s been swimming there.”

But the work – and the need for money – is also real.

“This morning I spent an hour and 45 minutes just picking up trash,” Harrison explained. “There are flower beds to maintain, there’s gravel, we have to resurface the bridge, do repairs, paint. There’s clearing the trails. If a tree falls on the bridge, we remove it. There are fire ants and wasps. The number one problem on the Lee County side is the bamboo.”

In addition to being sort of a community center in the Cumnock area, the park has served as the site for the now-annual Bigfoot Festival. There are no fees for its use.

Now would be a good time to remind you that you can inquire about making a donation to the association at deeprivernc@gmail.com. Meanwhile, anyone with information about the vandalism should contact the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office at (919) 542-2811.

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