Built by J. W. Baughman in 1891, this 121-foot span over McDonald’s Ford was restored by John Cherry in 1984. It is the southernmost covered bridge in the United States. Baughman’s grandson, J. W. Baughman III, writes that he was born in 1861 in Lexington, South Carolina, and died in 1923 in Dothan. Iron gates have now been placed at both ends of the bridge due to graffiti and other damage to the bridge.
National Register of Historic Places
My father Jim Nolan was the Restoration Manager back in 1996. He was given a beautiful framed picture of what it looked like the day it was completed and then a few days later it was vandalized. Didn’t realize all the work that went into it’s restoration, but it was amazing to see it back to it’s original state. My favorite story from there is The Goat Man who lived under the bridge… LOL
I think he did a great job! It really looks good still, as if it will last many more years.
My husband restored this bridge in 1984, his name is John Cherry
Built by my grandfather J. W. Baughman 1861 -1923. Born Lexington SC, died Dothan AL. J. W. Baughman, III, Snellville, GA.
Thanks! I’ll add that to the post.
There is a tremendous amount of graffiti on it and you are no longer allowed to drive over it. Many years ago, my family and I would picnic and fish for the day and we only lived 2 miles away. But the water is so cold & clear you could see the snakes and had time to get away before they swam towards you. The bridge itself is still very sturdy. Lots of pics have been taken with family members over the years and still do get taken. There used to be a legend associated with it….the Legend of the “Goat man”. And if you drove onto the bridge, turned your car off in the middle and turned off your lights, he would appear. And lots of “haints” were talked about when I grew up here. Visitors from AL and other places just think of it as a dumping ground and have torn up all the concrete benches and vandalism from teenagers in our area are bad about hanging out and destroying stuff. It’s ashamed folks can’t just see the Historic aspect of this monument and give it it’s just reward and keep it clean.
I couldn’t agree more, Karen. Thanks for sharing your memories of the bridge.
I do agree about the mischief and vandalism. It is sad to see. I still make that almost two hour drive to have a picnic by the creek and bridge with my family. My family loves it. I will say that we never visit unless we are carrying protection from rift raft.
Thanks Karen , my kids also enjoyed the creek and swimming in the crystal clear water ! We use to live just a short ways up the road from there ! They usually went down there everyday !
This is an amazing website. Glad I discovered it. I will let family know of it.
What a beauty ,I’ve never visited this spot .