Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Red Oak Covered Bridge - Woodbury, Georgia

Sometimes called the Imlac Covered Bridge after a nearby unincorporated community of that name, the historic Red Oak Covered Bridge in Woodbury is Georgia's oldest original covered bridge.

Built in the 1840s by famed bridge builder Horace King, the Red Oak bridge is also the longest wooden bridge in Georgia. Counting its open approaches, it is 253 feet long. The main covered part of the bridge is 115 feet long.

Uniquely, the Red Oak Covered Bridge is still in use today. Cars cross Red Oak Creek by using the bridge, which is still as solid as it was when it was built, thanks to careful preservation and occasional repair work. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is easily accessible from nearby Warm Springs by way of Georgia Highway 85.

The bridge is a unique surviving example of the engineering skill of its builder, Horace King. Born into slavery in South Carolina, King demonstrated such remarkable capability as an engineer and architect that he was set free by John Godwin. His reputation was so established by that point that the Alabama State Legislature enacted special legislation granting King the full rights of citizenship.

Although he and his sons are best remembered for their work designing and building bridges, they also achieved remarkable results on other projects. Horace King, for example, is remembered today as the designer and builder of the beautiful spial staircase in the Alabama State Capitol.

To learn more about Red Oak Covered Bridge, please visit

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