This Town Lattice covered bridge, the only one remaining in Bartow County, was built on Euharlee Creek in 1886 by Washington W. King. King was the son of former slave and master architect and bridge builder Horace King.
The historical marker erected in 2000 by the Georgia Historical Society and the Federal Highway Administration notes, in part: In 1886 the county contracted with Washington W. King…and Jonathan H. Burke for the construction of this 138-foot bridge…This bridge replaced several previous structures, the last having been built two years prior.
The bridge remained in use until the completion of a modern bridge circa 1980. Much of the material used to build the massive Plant Bowen nearby was hauled over this historic bridge.
Located in the Imlac Community, near Woodbury and Gay, the Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge is sometimes referred to as the Imlac Bridge. The historical marker erected in 2001 notes: This bridge was built in the 1840s by freed slave and noted bridge builder Horace King (1807-1885). Constructed on the Town lattice design, the bridge’s web of planks crisscrossing at 45- to 60-degree angles are fastened at each intersection with a total of approximately 2,500 wooden pegs, or trunnels. Although King is credited with the construction of many covered bridges throughout west Georgia, this is his only surviving bridge of this design. At 391 feet, including the approaches, this structure is the oldest and longest wooden covered bridge in Georgia.
Red Oak Creek is a beautiful tributary of the Flint River. A free public park with picnic tables is located at the bridge for the many who travel here every year.
The design of the bridge is known as “Town lattice”, for the criss-crossing beams set in a lattice pattern and pegged at the joints and attached to spliced horizontal timbers which formed the girders for the span. The inventor of this style, Ithiel Town, was a Connecticut architect. He is said to have made a dollar a foot from contractors all over the country who built bridges using his durable design. It was a very popular style.
The covered portion of the bridge is 116 feet; its total span is 412 feet. There are approximately 2500 wooden pegs holding the truss together. For more, see the National Register nomination form.
Horace King was born a slave in South Carolina in 1807. He was given his freedom in 1848 by his master, John Godwin, but continued to work for him. Godwin was a contractor and his jobs often needed the skill of King. King built a bridge spanning the Chattahoochee at Columbus, and later moved to the LaGrange area, where he was responsible for the construction of numerous covered bridges. His sons (John, Marshall, & Washington) followed him in this trade.
Georgia’s longest covered bridge is one of my favorite places. Watson Mill Bridge was built in 1885 over the South Fork of the Broad River by Washington (WW) King, son of the freed slave and great bridge builder, Horace King. The bridge is supported by the town lattice truss system and wooden pins.
The bridge is accessible at Watson Mill Bridge State Park, near Comer. It’s truly one of the most picturesque and beautiful outdoor spots in all of Georgia. Fewer than 20 of Georgia’s 200 historic covered bridges remain.
Originally known as the Zorn’s Mill or Hootenville Bridge, this historic 96-foot covered bridge was built in 1892 by the firm of Herring & Alford at a cost of $1,199. Dr. Herring was a well-known bridge builder in central Georgia until his death in 1911. After years of being in disrepair, it was reconstructed in 1985.
One of just 13 functional covered bridges remaining in Georgia, the Elder Mill bridge is all the more exceptional when you discover that it’s actually been moved and has remained in use.
Historic Marker Text: Built in 1897 by Nathaniel Richardson, this 99-foot-long bridge originally carried the Watkinsville-Athens Road over Calls Creek. It was moved here to Rose Creek in 1924 and the road was relocated to its present site. The nearby grist mill ceased operations in 1941. Constructed in the Town lattice design, the bridge’s web of planks crisscrossing at 45- to 60-degree angles are fastened with wooden pegs, or trunnels, at each intersection. It is one of the few covered bridges in Georgia continuing to carry traffic without underlying steel beams.
If you visit the bridge, make sure you drive across, pull over and walk down to beautiful Rose Creek. Views like this one are almost guaranteed, and it’s all free.