Chariton River Bridge

Malacha HallThe Chariton River is a 218-mile-long tributary to the Missouri River in southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri. It has been called Missouri's "Grand Divide" because streams west of the Chariton flow into the Missouri River and streams east of it flow into the Mississippi River.

There are several bridges going over the Chariton River in Missouri and Iowa, one dating as far back as 1869. The Chariton River Bridge in this photo was built in 1909 in Appanoose County, Iowa. It has a timber pier with a steel I-beam cap. It is 149 feet long, 13.8 feet wide, with a vertical clearance of 14.5 feet. This bridge is now closed to all traffic.

This lively dulcimer tune was written by Malacha Hall, instructor of the Serendipity Peak Dulcimer Club. The Serendipity Peak Dulcimer Club began in 1997 with just a handful of people with the desire to get together and play. The club has grown annually, and now has over 100 members. They meet in Cañon City, Westcliff, and Colorado Springs.

Our composer was inspired by a bridge that used to go over Chariton River where she lived, but the river was dammed and the bridge was torn down. The song reflects her memories about the times they would walk down the lane to the Chariton River Bridge on Sunday afternoons when she was a kid.  But now the bridge is gone and the lane is gone. All that is left is a lake where they built the dam, her memories - and this song. 

Malacha travels annually with advanced dulcimer workshops from Kentucky to North Carolina, and teaches other dulcimer workshops in the Springs area, including the Pillar Adult Learning program in Colorado Springs.

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