4 votes

Old Dobbs Ford Bridge


Looking across

Photo taken by Eddie Douthitt in December 2010


BH Photo #190781


A local we spoke with said the golf course has been out of business for several years and the property now belongs to the Legacy Retirement Village. I hope whoever owns the property will keep this bridge maintained.


Survey Report for Historic Bridges in Tennessee

Significant under Criterion C as an early Pratt truss bridge with patented connections and as work by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company.

The Bradley County Court appointed a committee of H. W. Smith, C.L.Hardwick, and T. L.Cate in July 1877 to contract for an iron bridge at this site. The county court levied a bridge tax of ten cents on the one hundred dollars to pay for it. The bridge was completed by July of the following year. The Wrought Iron Bridge Company built the superstructure for $983.75, Williams and Smith built the substructure for $920, and an unspecified contractor built the approach roadwork for $168. The bridge was on the main road west from Cleveland. Between 1943 and 1950 the state built a new road on a different alignment, and the old road with this bridge became a county road (Bradley County Court Minutes Volume 2:321, 356 357; Carver 1989b; Cleveland Weekly Herald, 5 July 1877).

The bridge contains one span, a 76 foot pinned pony Pratt. Top chords and end posts are channels with battens, bottom chords are paired rectilinear eyebars, posts are angles with cross lacing, diagonals are paired rectilinear eyerods and counters are single cylindrical tie rods. An unusual feature is the patented end connections (U.S. Commissioner Patents 1874:150152) of paired eyerods extending diagonally and the vertical end posts extending through the end cover where they are secured on the outside by nuts. Another unusual feature is the composition of the angles that make up the posts that have a bulb or beaded T on their outside edge. More difficult and expensive to manufacture than a normal angle, this feature was possibly intended to add stiffness. The Tennessee Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Bradley County and the Federal Highway Administration, replaced the bridge in 1990 and relocated the truss to the nearby Rolling Hills Golf Course where it again spans Candies Creek


Pratt pony truss bridge over Candies Creek on golf cart track
Bradley County, Tennessee
Closed to all traffic
Built 1878, moved to the present site in 1990
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Pratt pony truss
Total length: 76.0 ft.
Deck width: 12.0 ft.
Also called
Rolling Hills Golf Course Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.19152, -84.90011   (decimal degrees)
35°11'29" N, 84°54'00" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/691185/3896302 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
South Cleveland
Inventory number
BH 47376 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 18, 2011: New photos from Calvin Sneed
  • December 24, 2010: Essay added by Eddie Douthitt


  • Eddie Douthitt - dalton1861 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Calvin Sneed - us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Old Dobbs Ford Bridge
Posted January 31, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)