Photo taken by Channin Rosenthal in May 2009
BH Photo #139738
The bridge at hatchie station according to one of the old timers that lived there was started in 1919. The community actually funded the bridge. The road was used on the south side of the bridge until world war 2. After then the south side was not kept up and the road and land reverted back to miller land and tie company. In the late 20th century the same one that gave me the history of the bridge said that someone came in on the south side of the bridge with a tractor and cutting torch and hauled part of it for scrap and made the bridge totally impassable. The road went to cedar chapel and joined that road close to where the dirt road now y's. The train bridges went from mercer to white ville via vildo. In the late 80's residents of vildo made the old trainbed impassable by cutting several of the bridges out.
The Hatchie Station Bridge was built in 1929 by Mr. Replogal and shipped to Hatchie Station on the train. It was in service until 1944, when Haywood County failed to keep the bridges across Hatchie Bottoms up. Madison County keeps the road up to the bridge still. There are two more bridges at the location, they are train bridges. This point has been a river crossing since early 1818. The Pirtle Family operated a ferry boat at this site. It cost 5 cents to cross and 10 cents if you had your horse. Hatchie was a little lumber town with a large saw mill here. There is also a steam boat turn around just up above the bridge. The boats coming up the Hatchie from the Mississippi could come to up this far. A Little later some small steam boats could go all the way up to Hatchie Town ( Bolivar, Tn.) During the Civil War the Estonallie Landing about four miles down the river was a major site for the 30th Illionis, camped here most of the war. Hatchie Station has some minor battles at this site. There are Indian Mounds just up the creek from the old bridge and there are four just outside of Denmark on both sides of the Estonallie Trail. "Estonallie" a Chickasaw word meaning "here we cross." The trail comes from North Carolina and goes to the Chickasaw Bluffs in Memphis. You are only about four miles from the Britton Lane Battle Field and Denmark, Tennessee, the oldest town in West Tennessee. If you would like to see more of the bridge and area...go to www.bigblackcreekhistorical.com
According to what I have found through research I found a tentative date of 1929 for the bridge being built . It is refered as the bridge to nowhere as no road was ever connected on one side of the bridge for some reason. I have posted the link to the information I found. Hope this furthers the research more for everyone....
Can someone tell me when this bridge was built? My husband and I took a drive to it today and I didn't notice any dates anywhere.
Looking at maps of the area, it seems likely that this bridge was built with the intention of reconnecting Jackson and Somerville. Old maps show a road running from Jackson, through Denmark, across the Hatchie (likely via ferry) and on to Somerville. In fact, current maps still show Old Jackson Road coming out of Somerville and heading (somewhat) directly for this point, though in present day it putters out more than a mile before reaching the river.
One error I must point out, though, is that this structure, located at N35.4379, W89.0797, is located entirely within Haywood County. River's edge is about 250 feet west from the Madison County line, and the Hardeman County line lies some 2000 feet to the south.
Thank you Wesley!! Great info! The last time I visited the "Hatchie Bridge". I was told by the residents there that the bridge was soon to be placed on the National Register of Historic places. Do you have any information or updates on that?
Thanks Gene. I am in the process of researching. As soon as I get he real story I will post it!!
I would be extremely skeptical about the statement that the bridge was "never used". It could have been abandoned so many years ago that the person you talked to had never seen it open. If you are really curious, you could research at the county court house records.
Talk about a diamond in the rough!!! We found this bridge purely by instinct!! We were looking for an old RR bridge that a Bolivar local told us about on HWY 138. Then we see a old truck pulling a fishing boat. Just out of curiosity we followed the truck (off of 138), knowing that where there's a fishing boat, there's a body of water and where there's water there is usually a bridge. So we follow the fishing boat for about 10 minutes. We were actually about to turn around, then there it sat!! We parked and started talking to the fishermen about the bridge. They said that the bridge was never finished. Never one car, ever rolled over it. No decking at all. I am sure the story behind this one is an interesting one. Incidentally, the old RR bridge we were looking for was about 100 yards from this one. No tresspassing signs were posted everywhere. It had no truss and was so overgrown we could hardly see it.