Friday, January 4, 2008

First Bridge Across the Tombigbee on the old Fulton to Tupelo Public Road

This was the first bridge constructed over the Tombigbee River on the old Fulton to Tupelo public road, which later became a part of the Bankhead National Highway. During the early days of the county until well after the Civil War this road was known as the Fulton to Pontotoc road.

The first Tombigbee River bridge on this road was approved by an act of Congress on January 18, 1905. This old bridge was located north of what is now the old Tombigbee River bridge on old Highway 78 leading to the Peppertown boat dock on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Before this bridge was built, the county operated a ferry across the river. One of the long-time ferrymen for the Fulton ferry employed by the county was William Walton. He served in this position through the later quarter of the 19th century well into the early 20th century until this first bridge was built around 1905.

This view of the first bridge was photographed during the late 1930’s after a new bridge was constructed on the new highway south of the old Bankhead Highway. This old Tombigbee bridge was dismantled shortly after the opening of the new highway.

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