We are happy to announce that our article ‘The Heritage Bridges of Fannin County’ has now been published in the Spring, 2020 issue of Georgia Backroads magazine. Visit Georgia Backroads magazine to purchase the issue or even better subscribe to this wonderful publication.
‘The Heritage Bridges of Fannin County’ is the companion article to a micro-documentary we did last year for the YouTube series There’s History Around Every Bend titled ‘The McCaysville Magical Mystery Steel Bridge’.
It tells the story of sleuthing the facts as to what really happened to an old 150 foot long steel bridge in the North Georgia Mountains that local folk tales had claimed was left in place and would now be under more than 120 feet of Blue Ridge Lake’s waters
There’s a cool-looking, old steel bridge in McCaysville, Georgia that a lot of people take selfies in front of. For years, local folks have talked about it, posted comments about it, heard the different stories, admired it, laughed at the tall tales, listened to the rumors, speculated about the truth, read about in the newspaper, and some have obsessed about it – wondering how the heck it came to be there.
People have sworn it was sunk under Blue Ridge Lake 12 miles to the south – nope, that mystery is all wet. People have claimed it as a fact that it was floated downstream to McCaysville a long time ago – boy that story is just magical, except it didn’t happen. Some think it was built in 1911, others in 1936. Well here’s a proven fact – it actually will be a hundred years old in 2021.
Because when you’re in McCaysville and you make the turn onto ‘Bridge Street’ you’ll find the old steel bridge straight ahead, proving once again ‘There’s History Around Every Bend’.
There are many old bridges in Fannin County, each of whose history bears witness to the the distant past. Some of these bridges are no longer used, yet they still stand as sentinels to what once was. You can find them if you pay close attention.
In fact, a road trip through Fannin County in search of these old bridges makes for a pleasant drive on a Sunday afternoon.
Some of the bridges have gone, having been demolished, yet we still feel their presence. The loss of their history a blemish on the record of preservation. In Fannin county, there are many blemishes.
These bridges were built in the early 20th century, and at the time they were modern innovations, replacing older wooden covered bridges, which were then torn down. As a result, there are no longer any covered bridges remaining in Fannin county.
Now a century later, the older metal bridges are being taken out of service, replaced by modern innovations of the twenty-first century. As history repeats itself, will we allow these curiosities to disappear? Or should we find a way for these old workhorses to be preserved and embraced as part of the heritage of this county.