Heartbeat Bridge

The informant grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Here, he tells the story of how a bridge in Nebraska received the name “Heartbeat” Bridge.

N: There’s a place in Portal, Nebraska just south of the Pillar, called the Hatchet House. It was a school house and there was a legend that a teacher there went crazy and chopped off all her student’s heads and put them all at each desk. And then took all of their hearts to a nearby bridge and threw them into the river. And that bridge is called Heartbeat Bridge, and as you walk across it the boards thumping below your feet sound like heartbeats. And it’s supposed to be the heartbeats of the dead children.

The informant also told a similar story as to why a local creek was named “Rawhide Creek”. It seems that in this region, it’s important to remember tragedies, and in order to do that, the areas that tragedies happened in are named after them.