Crossing the Creek Through the Covered Bridge!
by guest blogger, Elmer Prather
My latest puzzle is a 1000-piece titled Welcome To Cobble Hill County by Greg & Company. Before I spend the time putting a puzzle together, I must have a connection to it. My connection to this puzzle is my interest in covered bridges.
A picture tells a story. Viewing the picture in this puzzle is like reading a book, there are so many stories being told. Greg and Company paid homage to Cobble Puzzle by putting the words, “Cobble Hill Country” in large letters all along the side of the covered bridge. In the picture, there are many kinds of animals around the old red covered bridge. I found this odd because some of these animals are predators and some are prey and in real life situations these two groups do not normally co-exist. The picture also has a 1930’s model three quarter ton pick-up truck with a beautiful patina. The driver is not to be seen but his Golden Retriever is sitting in the passenger seat with his paws on the door waiting for him.
I am fascinated with covered bridges. Building these covered bridges was a work of art. Very few workers back in the day had the skill sets to construct covered bridges. The existence of covered bridges in Georgia can be mostly traced back to Horace King. He was born into slavery in South Carolina in 1807 but was freed from contractor John Goodwin. King became a bridge builder and constructed many covered bridges throughout the South, including Georgia. The covered bridges were built to protect the wooden bridge structures from the elements, which would cause them to rot and decay. At one point, there were over two hundred covered bridges in Georgia. Covered bridges are now considered historic landmarks and are protected by the state of Georgia.
I live in Cherokee County Georgia, U S A. Cobb County abuts Cherokee County and there is a one-lane Covered Bridge, spanning Nickajack Creek in Cobb County. The bridge has undergone numerous iterations since its initial construction in 1872. During a century and a half in continuous use, this landmark bridge has been rebuilt, repaired, and strengthened to accommodate modern automobile traffic.
This covered bridge is the only one remaining in Cobb County and one of only sixteen left in Georgia. The bridge measures 133 feet long, sixteen feet wide, and thirteen feet high, with a low seven-foot entry clearance that has in recent years resulted in collisions by drivers of oversized vehicles. Although significantly enhanced structurally over the decades, this Covered Bridge looks today much as it did in the 19th century with a heavy wood-planked floor, sides of vertical board and batten, and a cedar shake roof.
When I travel and have the time, I try to visit as many covered bridges as possible in the area I happen to be in. I have taken many trips to Sevierville, Tennessee, home of Dolly Parton, and have been able to take driving tours of several covered bridges there.
The days of covered bridges are numbered but with the people who care about them keeping them safe and protected we will have a long time to enjoy the ones that still exist.
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