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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: Toll bridges spring up across Ogeechee, Canoochee rivers
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of columns exploring the importance of rivers, ferries, bridges and waterways in the early history of Georgia and Bulloch County.

Ebenezer Jencks, the mastermind behind the Ogeechee Canal, built a bridge near the ferry service he had bought from the Lanier family. Some locals nicknamed it "Junk's Ferry."

When the U.S. Army's 15th Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. P.J. Osterhaus, arrived at Jencks Bridge at Eden Station, they found it had been burned down.

A pontoon bridge was built, and Gen. Rice's brigade crossed over, then moved on to join Gen. Woods' brigade, which crossed 3 miles upstream at Wright's Bridge.

Wright's toll bridge, which crossed the Ogeechee River some 3 miles north of Jencks Bridge, was built by William Wright of Chatham County, who also operated a fish trap in the river here.

During Sherman's "March to the Sea," Maj.Upton and the 46th Ohio Infantry, commanded by Col. Williamson, were ordered to destroy Wright's Bridge after all Union forces had crossed it.

Tillman's Bridge crosses the Canoochee River between Hounds and Dry creeks, near the head of Scott's Creek. This was near Young's Bridge as well.

Moore's toll bridge, also referred to in some documents as Moore's Crossing, spanned the Canoochee River 2 ½ miles northwest of Groveland, just south of the Bryan and Bulloch County lines.

The Nelson family's toll bridge crossed the Ogeechee River near the Screven and Effingham County lines. Power and Crum's toll bridge was built over the Ogeechee in 1820 in Bryan County.

The Foy Railroad Trestle Bridge was built by E.E. Foy across the Ogeechee River near "the Rocks" at Rocky Ford. In 1905, Charles Capp bought it and converted it into a toll bridge known as Capp's Incorporated Bridge.

In 1873, John Gideon Blitch built a toll bridge on the Statesboro Number 6 Road. This replaced the Ogeechee River ferry operated by the Donaldson family.

In 1903, Milburn Capers Sharpe built a toll bridge across the Ogeechee to Scarboro in Screven County on land that had first been deeded to John Sharpe in 1784.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email Roger at



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