Old Iron Bridge
Times Daily - 9/28/2003
BH Photo #273094
"Tuscumbia lost one of its historic landmarks earlier this year with the removal of the old Iron Bridge that spanned Spring Creek at the foot of South Milton Street. It was one of the few remaining Pratt truss bridges in the area, but the 100-year-old structure had deteriorated to the point of collapsing into the creek.
In February 1903, a petition signed by several hundred citizens of the Tuscumbia precinct was presented to the county commissioners. The petition asked that the commissioners erect a new bridge over Spring Creek utilizing the funds from the special bridge tax.
In July of that year, the old covered wooden bridge was torn down and the new iron bridge was erected in its place. The contractor was the Converse Bridge Co. of Chattanooga. The new bridge had a span of about 80 feet, and the floor was 32 feet above the bed of the stream. Both the old and new bridges were commonly called the "country bridge."
The old wooden bridge served the people of town and county faithfully for more than 50 years, but it had been an eyesore for a long time.
Among the events that occurred in the old covered bridge was a triple hanging in April 1884. Three men, charged with burning a barn containing livestock near Leighton, were taken from the county jail by a masked mob of about 30 men at midnight on a Saturday.
The alleged arsonists were hanged to the bridge with new grass ropes, and their bodies were riddled with 20 or 30 bullets.
In 1926, a concrete bridge was erected on Hook Street to carry the traffic for U.S. 72 that passed through town then. At first, it was known as the "new bridge." It is still in use today, but plans have been announced to replace it.
Both the old iron bridge and the Hook Street bridge withstood floods in 1929, 1955 and others since then that almost reached the bridge floor levels.
Sometime after the Hook Street bridge opened, the old iron bridge was converted into a footbridge.
It continued to be used by pedestrians until about 20 years ago, when it was closed and barricaded for safety reasons. Then it became almost hidden by trees and bushes.
People went swimming in the creek near the bridge, and the more adventuresome boys would dive off the top of it. Fishing in the creek near the bridge was another popular activity.
The old bridge is history now, but it holds a special place in the memories of Sugar Hill, Lilly Pond, and Valdosta residents who used it as they walked to and from town."
September 28, 2003
- Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Spring Creek on South Milton Street
- Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama
- Built 1903; Collapsed and removed 2003
- Pratt through truss
Total length: 80.0 ft.
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +34.72905, -87.70938 (decimal degrees)
34°43'45" N, 87°42'34" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 16/435054/3843225 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Inventory number
- BH 59262 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- January 19, 2014: Added by Ben Tate
- Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com