DODDRIDGE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Doddridge residents are working together to repair their old community center after it was destroyed earlier this week by a log truck for the second time since 2015.
“We really mourn the loss of it,” said Sam Bumgardner, Chairman of Doddridge Community Development.
“The actual building is an 1895 structure. The trailer rolled over, and the trailer came through the building. The truck remained upright. So, the load of logs came through the building and there’s actually one log still inside the building.”
A similar crash happened in October 2015 but did not cause as much damage. The building is on a curve, just inches from the highway, which poses a high risk for accidents.
“It’s a busy place as you can see, with all the traffic going by,” said Patsy Maddox. “That was one reason why we were trying so hard to get a grant to help us get out of here. Hoping not to have it demolished like it is now. It’s bad.”
Maddox recalls her earliest memory of the structure, having a rich history in Doddridge.
“When I was a little girl, I was about five years old I guess, it was a general mercantile store. My mother took me in there to buy a pair of shoes, and that was before we had electricity here.”
While there is a brand-new community center across the park, what’s left of the damaged building will be repaired and moved farther from the highway. But it will take the effort of many to clean up the debris and start over.
“Nobody makes any money on this, it’s all volunteer work,” said Bumgardner. “That’s our payday, is when families come down and have a nice time. And we do have wonderful people here in our community. I can’t say enough good things about our people.”
If you would like to help the residents of Doddridge rebuild the area, email Sam Bumgardner at email@example.com.