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Tallahatchie bridge

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Photos 

Singer Bobbie Gentry walking across the bridge

Photo from Life Magazine November, 1967

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Lost Through truss bridge over Tallahatchie river on old Roebuck road
Location
Leflore County, Mississippi
Status
Demolished 1987
Design
Through truss with Pony truss spans
Approximate latitude, longitude
+33.44373, -90.23320   (decimal degrees)
33°26'37" N, 90°13'60" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/757200/3703904 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Sidon
Inventory number
BH 37512 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Leflore County, Mississippi (14)
Lost (12,501)
Lost 1987 (66)
Lost during 1980s (529)
Mississippi (488)
Owned by county (17,046)
Replaced by new bridge (8,394)
Through truss (10,579)
Truss (25,421)

Update Log 

  • October 12, 2008: Updated by David Smothers
  • October 5, 2008: Added by David Smothers

Sources 

  • David Smothers - davidsupreme [at] embarqmail [dot] com

Comments 

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted February 2, 2014, by george sansing (rebelbo_28 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I grew up in greenwood and I used to cross the old bridge with my dad on the way to Belzoni . its was torn down in 1987. but the real bridge that billy joe jumped off of was about 2 miles west of Holcomb ms and until 2 years ago had a span left in the woods near the Yalobusha river . the reason why its was called the Tallahatchie bridge is because at that time that part of the county was in Tallahatchie county not grenada . somewhere I have 2 photos of the old roebuck bridge from the movie if I find them ill post them to the site

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted November 8, 2013, by David Smothers (davidsupreme [at] embarqmail [dot] com)

Here is a clip of Bobbie Gentry's BBC variety show from 1968 where she sings "Ode To Billie Joe" and it is interspersed with color footage of her walking across the bridge in question during the 1967 life Magazine shoot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv33eaygVDQ

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted October 25, 2012, by Michael Watson (msfwatson [at] rogers [dot] com)

You're incorrect, Mick. Read all three of my posts. There are two new bridges, one north and the other south of Greenwood. The one that appeared in the movie is SOUTH of Greenwood. The one that she was pictured walking over in the magazine and that she said was similar to the bridge she wrote about in the song was the one near Money, NORTH of Greenwood.

MW, Toronto

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted May 10, 2012, by Mick (turtle_czar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

@Michael Watson wrote: "Here is the new bridge ... (i)t is located 10 miles north of Greenwood, at Money, MS."

The map above clearly shows that the bridge of the song is SOUTH of Greenwood. And only 3-4 miles, not 10.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted June 3, 2011, by TCB (tasha191 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I grew up in Sidon. My family is from there. The old bridge was not very far from the new bridge at all. You can still drive down to where the old bridge was. The road dead ends at the river.

New Tallahatchie bridge at Money, MS
Posted September 28, 2010, by Michael Watson (msfwatson [at] rogers [dot] com)

Here is the new bridge (seen in Aug. 2010) across the Tallahatchie River that replaced the bridge across which Bobbie Gentry was pictured walking in the Nov. 1967 issue of Life magazine (see my longer comment below). It is located 10 miles north of Greenwood, at Money, MS.

Michael Watson, Toronto

Uploaded file: JPEG image data, EXIF standard, 601884 bytes

Tallahatchie bridge; commemorative plaque, near Sidon, MS
Posted September 28, 2010, by Michael Watson (msfwatson [at] rogers [dot] com)

Here is the plaque at the east end of the new bridge that replaced the bridge that appeared in the 1976 movie, "Ode to Billy Joe". This is NOT the bridge referred to in the song. This bridge carries Roebuck Road (Co. Rd. 512) across the Yazoo River a couple of miles north of Sidon and 6 miles south of Greenwood.

Uploaded file: JPEG image data, EXIF standard, 243277 bytes

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted September 28, 2010, by Michael Watson (msfwatson [at] rogers [dot] com)

I researched this topic for many weeks before my wife and I travelled to Leflore County on a driving trip from Toronto last month. We visited the bridges at both locations that people are talking about here.

The Tallahatchie River rises in northeastern Mississippi and makes its way through many counties and more than a hundred miles before it turns south and joins the Yalobusha River at the northern edge of the town of Greenwood. From that point downstream, the combined river is known as the Yazoo and not the Tallahatchie. The bridge about 6 miles south of Greenwood at Roebuck Road is the successor to the bridge that was featured in the 1976 movie, Ode to Billy Joe (note the spelling difference from the song). The original bridge that is seen in the movie fell down decades ago, and was located about 1000' feet to the north of the more modern bridge. On the eastern end of "new" bridge is a plaque commemorating the old bridge that was seen in the movie.

As for the bridge in the song: Gentry herself seems not to have had in mind a specific bridge when she wrote the song. The caption to the fairly well-known photo of her walking across the old bridge near Money, MS (10 miles north of Greenwood), which appeared in the November 1967 Life magazine article about her, says that it's the bridge she wrote about in the song. But if you dig deeper and read the story, she is quoted by the author of the article, who travelled with her back to Chickasaw County in the summer of 1967, as saying about the Money bridge, "This is what I had in mind", and that she "found a bridge ... that looked just like the one she remembered and sang about". So the old bridge near Money, which was torn down many years ago and replaced, was almost certainly not THE bridge that she wrote about, if indeed she had any specific bridge in mind. It's worth bearing in mind as well that Chocktaw Ridge, which features prominently in the song, is located a hundred miles away on the east side of the I-55, and not anywhere near the Tallahatchie River as it passes through Leflore County.

Michael Watson

Toronto

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted September 12, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

Craig, the bridge you're referring to is in Lafayette County and was built in 1953, long after this bridge was built. The link for this website page is below...

http://www.bridgehunter.com/ms/lafayette/310000703613240/

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted September 12, 2010, by craig (craig [dot] duncan [dot] 3 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

just north of oxford ms.,on hiway 7 is a bridge that crosses the tallahathchie river,it is a old bridge that looks similar to the ones on this post.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted September 11, 2010, by T.R. (trntasha [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I don't know if the bridge is still there or not. I would love to find out. This is what I do know, that woman standing on it is breathtaking...

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted March 14, 2010, by Larry Cantrell (cantrell2010 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes, the bridge still exist. It is right outside an unincorpated town of Money,Miss. You have to stop at the general store/post office for directions. I went there about 10 years ago. You actually drive out into the side of a big cotton field to get there. There are 3 old farm workers type shacks still standing. Off to the left of them,you walk about 50 ft in the woods and you will see the bridge is still standing.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted January 9, 2010, by veefox (r_veazey [at] hotmail [dot] com)

That bridge on Roebuck Rd. crosses the Yazoo River. The Tallahatchie river ends in Greenwood and the two rivers merge to form the Yazoo. The bridge has to be north of Greenwood.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted November 22, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Actually, it's this one......

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted November 21, 2009, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

E. Wise... it is not still there, it is gone. Refer to the map at the top of this page, the red pin is in the exact location the bridge used to be. The old road leading up to it is still there, but dead ends at the river now.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted September 17, 2009, by E. Wise

I read that the bridge is still there, but no longer in use. Where is the exact location of the old bridge?

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted April 27, 2009, by David (dusty_r_kives [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk)

This is the only place I have been able to find the location of the Tallahatchie Bridge. Thank you. (Researching it for a novel).

I have just looked it up on Google Earth. The location of the bridge and the road leading to it from either side appears to be redacted. I wonder why?

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted March 11, 2009, by D.Brown (xbrownd [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge does still exist. It is no longer in use. A new bridge spanning the river was built and opened sometime in the late 80s.

The Till murder happened north of Greenwood near Money, MS. This bridge is south of Greenwood. The locations are about 20 miles apart.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted January 18, 2009, by Doug Chapman (upsers59 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Was this bridge located anywhere near Money Mississippi

where in 1955 a Black youth named Emmett Till whistled

at 21 year old Carolyn Bryant who was white at Bryant's

grocery.Carolyn's husband Roy owned the store and she was

running it while Roy was away.Roy found out later and

he and JW Milam murdered Emmett a few days later and

dumped his body in the Tallahatchie river.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted January 18, 2009, by Doug Chapman (upsers59 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Was this bridge located anywhere near Money Mississippi

where in 1955 a Black youth named Emmett Till whistled

at 21 year old Carolyn Bryant who was white at Bryant's

grocery.Carolyn's husband Roy owned the store and she was

running it while Roy was away.Roy found out later and

he and JW Milam murdered Emmett a few days later and

dumped his body in the Tallahatchie river.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted October 12, 2008, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

I've gleaned some more information. There is a new UCEB a couple hundred feet from where this bridge was located, on a new alignment of Roebuck road. The stretch of old Roebuck road which led to the old bridge still exists. The bridge was demolished in 1987, and there is a plaque on the new UCEB stating that the bridge is the replcaement for the "Ode To Billie Joe" bridge.

Tallahatchie bridge
Posted October 5, 2008, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

Well, what bridge website would be complete without one of the most famous bridges in music history. I have alot of incomplete inforamtion on this bridge, some reports say it "collapsed" in 1972, some say it was a deck collapse, and was fixed, being used in the 1976 movie. I have not found information as to it's exact location, although we do know it no longer exists. Any more inforamtion that could be gleaned on this bridge would be interesting.