1. Dillingham Street Bridge
A long, wooden covered bridge, established the first connection between Georgia and Alabama in 1838. Built by Horace King (1807-1885), he was a man born into slavery in South Carolina, King was a true innovator, using new interlocking prefabricated construction methods to create the structure. This bridge was one of 125 that designed and built by King in the southeast.
It is rumored that the Dillingham Street Bridge was erected in the spot that James Oglethorpe, the founder and first British Governor of Georgia, who met with the Creek Indians to sign a treaty of cooperation.
Visitors to Columbus would have walked through its hot, bustling dark wooden covered bridge from across the United States and Europe. Columbus was a stopping point on the American ‘Grand Tour.’ This bridge was an integral part of cotton and slave trades.
King's bridge graced the $2 Bank of Columbus. After the Battle of Columbus, the bridge was left in ruins, but was rebuilt by none other than King himself, whence the Daily Sun of Columbus wrote,
“The well known character and reputation of Horace King, the builder, is a sufficient guarantee that the work will be executed in the best and most efficient manner.” (November 1866)
King was an innovative structural enginneer, desiging the now famous floating spiral staircase at the old Columbus Court House. He went on to be elected twice as a Republican representative in the Alabama House of Representatives during Reconstruction, from 1870 to 1874. King was a man of great influence in Columbus and LaGrange where he lived until his death in 1885.
Submission composed by Austin Chesteen, April 9, 2017
References and Further Reading
Bunn, Mike. Well Worth Stopping to See: Antebellum Columbus, Georgia, Through the Eyes of Travellers. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2016.
Gibbons, Faye. Horace King: Bridges to Freedom. Crane Hill Publishers, 2002.
Lupold, John S., and Thomas L. French, Jr. Bridging Deep South Rivers: The Life and Legend of Horace King. 1st ed. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press in cooperation with the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Troop County Historical Society, 2004.
Whitehead, Margaret Laney, and Barbara Bogart. City of Progress: A History of Columbus, Georgia. Columbus, GA: Cosco Press, 1979.