Kate Shelley and the High Bridge


One stormy night in 1881 Kate Shelley was transformed from an Irish immigrant farm girl to the "heroine of Iowa" and a legend celebrated in two high railroad bridges. Hear the story in Kate's own words and walk in her footsteps at the Moingona station and across the Des Moines River where she lived near Honey Creek. The bridge she crawled across that night is gone, but the stone pilings show just how large it was. We'll learn some surprising things about the Kate Shelley High Bridges before we close with a ghostly poem by MacKinley Kantor and songs about Kate Shelley and the high bridges. Hosts: Susan Franzen and Gina McAndrews.

Guests include: Misty McNally, author of Kate Shelley: Heroine of the High Bridge; Pam Schwartz, executive director of the Boone County Historical Center; Suzanne Caswell, editor of Trail Tales, the Journal of Boone County History;Joseph Reutter, owner of the enchanted Valley Tree Farm; Winona Decker, writer of the song "Kate Shelley, the Girl Who Saved the Train;" Al Harris and Tom Richards whose CD "The Ballad of Kate Shelley" illustrates the legend throughout.

Host Kay Puttock

Originally broadcast 04/29/2013
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