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Chapter VI

The Bridge over Rutherford Creek

In 1898, J. A. Sanders constructed a wooden bridge over Rutherford Creek. This wooden structure was destroyed by a flood which occurred in May 1905. A new iron bridge was completed in July 1906, at a cost of $2,250. The iron bridge was 180 feet long (Reference 1, p. 283).

The iron bridge, as I remember it as a child, was a one-lane bridge. It had a wooden floor except for a portion of the bridge toward Green's Mill which had a reinforced concrete pad supported by the iron girders on each side. The concrete pad began to crack, holes appeared, and the concrete pad was eventually replaced by a wooden floor. Since the bridge was only one lane, it became common, as autos became plentiful, for vehicles to start from each end of the bridge about the same time, see the other approaching, and one of them have to back off until the other one crossed. The bridge was about a quarter of a mile from the store where I lived. Often we could hear a vehicle crossing the bridge because the looseness of the wooden floor made something of a "clapping" noise as the vehicle passed.

According to Jerry Hayes, who lived near the bridge at the time, a truck hauling concrete fell through the old iron bridge in the mid-1950s (approximately 1957). Records are difficult to find and memories are hazy, but my best assessment of the history of the bridge from the mid 50s until the present is as follows:

1. In the 1957-58 time period, the old iron bridge, built in 1906, was replaced by a one lane concrete bridge.

2. The one lane concrete bridge was either modified or replaced by the present two lane concrete bridge about 1978.