Coheelee Creek Bridge

Coheelee Bridge is the southernmost (historic/authentic) covered bridge in the United States. The late Dr. John H. Goff, University of Georgia, studied unique Georgia place names for many years and wrote a series of articles on them. He explains the variation in many Indian names come from the switching back and forth from the Indian dialects to English and then back to the dialects again.

The name COHEELEE is a good example of this practice. In the 1820's, this narrow rambling creek, which rises about "a half mile" west of Blakely, was labeled "BIG CREEK" on surveyor Robert Kennedy's map. However, according to Mary Grist Whitehead, "somehow the Indian name survived and was preferred by the early settlers." -From "Covered Bridges of Georgia" by Thomas L. French, Jr. & Edward L. French

Built in 1891, this bridge uses steel rods as tension members in its truss design. The result is similar to a queen post or Warren truss. The angled rods make the bridge unique, certainly in Georgia if not the entire US. The use of steel rods was fairly common for the late 19th century and can also be seen on the Concord Road Bridge and the Lula Bridge.

Facts:
• County: Early
• Other names: Bridge at McDonald's Ford
• Length: 96 ft.
• Width: ft.
• Built: 1891
• Builder: J.W. Baughman
• Truss: Modified Queen Post
• Stream: Coheelee Creek
• Road name: Old River Road
• Traffic: No
• WGCB Number: 10-49-02
• Parking: Yes
• Picnic area: Yes
• Historic marker: Yes
• Owner: Early County