Kymulga

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Built in 1861, the Kymulga covered bridge is located just east of the Kymulga grist mill off of Alabama Hwy 76 in Childersburg, Alabama. The bridge is a Howe truss style bridge constructed over a single span. The 105 foot bridge provided access across the Talladega Creek for the Old Georgia Road, a Native American trade route which was used by settlers and frontiersmen who ventured the area.

 

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In 1864  Confederate Army Captain George H. Forney hired G.E. Morris, a German contractor, to build a four story mill powered by three water turbines. Forney was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was killed during the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia before the Mill could be completed. Afterwards his wife allowed Morris to finish the mill. Most mills were burned by the Union during the Civil War, but the Kymulga Mill was spared.

 

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In 1941 the US government purchased land adjacent to Kymulga Mill for the Alabama Ordnance Works, a military installation. Workers would used this bridge to cross Talladega Creek to go to and from the facilities. Kymulga Park was acquired by the City of Childersburg in June 2011. It is currently managed by the Childersburg Historic Preservation Commission.

 

 

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An engineering firm determined that due to some unusually heavy rains during recent years as well as vibration that has occurred over time from the turbines and other factors the mill’s foundation had deteriorated and the structure was unstable. The engineers said the structure could fall into the creek at any time or stand another 20 years.

 

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A plan was put into action to construct a dam upstream from the mill to divert water into the original diversion canal that was dug by slaves and used when the mill was originally constructed.

 

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Steel was purchased and volunteers are currently shoring up the foundation with these metal beams to provide the needed support.

 

6 Comments

  1. Dianne Newman July 11, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you for visiting the Mill and Covered Bridge and sharing the beautiful of this wonderful park through your pictures.

    Dianne Newman
    President
    Childersburg Historical Preservation Commission

    • Phillip July 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      Dianne, Thank you so much for your comment. I not sure that I have ever had a person in your position take the time to comment before. It means a lot to me. The Historical Preservation Commission has a very nice park. I can’t remember the name of the gentleman that we met there, but his stories about the bridge and mill were so interesting. He seemed liked such a nice person, and he made our trip more enjoyable.

  2. Jimi Jones July 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Great photo essay, Phillip. This really looks like a wonderful place. As always, I enjoy reading the back stories as well. 🙂

    • Phillip July 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

      Thanks Jimi. I’m glad that you like it. I really enjoy learning about the history of the places that I visit.

  3. Andrew August 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    What a beautiful bridge and setting, Phillip. You’ve produced a marvellous series of images. The wider views have a magical appearance to them, and that closeup is a little work of art, too.

    • Phillip August 18, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      Thank you Andrew, I appreciate the kind words!

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