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Toll bridges spring up all around Bulloch County
Bulloch History
toll bridge

Jencks Ferry / Toll Bridge

Named after Ebenezer Jencks, the mastermind behind the building of the Savannah, Altamaha and Ogeechee Canal, this ferry was originally built and operated by the Lanier family. Jencks later built a bridge, the modern replacement of which is still known today as Jencks Bridge, where the United States Army's 15th Corps, under command of Maj. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus, USA, arrived to cross the river on the way to Savannah in December of 1864. Finding the bridge burned, a pontoon bridge was laid down. Rice's Brigade crossed, drove back the defenders with minor losses, and then moved on Eden to join Woods' Brigade, which had crossed 3 miles upstream at Wright's Bridge. The soldiers referred to the ferry here in some of their diaries as “Junks Ferry.”


Lanier's Ferry

This ferry crossed the Ogeechee River at the intersection of the Bulloch, Bryan and Effingham County borders. Ebenezer Jencks paid John Lanier Sr. the sum of $5000 for 1080 acres that included the Lanier's Ferry operation and land on both banks of the Great Ogeechee River in January 1808. He renamed it Jencks Ferry, and then shortly thereafter Jencks built what was known as Jencks Bridge.


McCall’s Toll Bridge

This bridge was operated by the McCall family. An 1803 document lists Jesse McCall as the proprietor of McCalls Bridge, while an 1809 document lists Sherwood McCall as the operator. It was located on the Ogeechee River just north of the Bryan and Effingham County borders. Their neighbors, the Youngs, operated William Young's Bridge (also referred in documents of the period as William's and Young's Bridge). Records show the Youngs Bridge still existed in 1836. McCall’s Bridge may have been downstream from the Youngs Bridge, or it may have actually been the Young's Bridge.


Moore's Toll Bridge (or Moore’s Crossing)

Referred to in some documents as Moore’s Crossing, it is uncertain if there actually was ever a ferry here first. Moore's Bridge crossed the Canoochee River just south of the Bryan and Bulloch County lines.


 Nelson's Toll Bridge

Operated by the Nelson family, this bridge crossed the Ogeechee River near the Screven and Effingham County lines. Documents state that Walter Allen Hagin operated a ferry service across the Ogeechee nearby until he bought the Nelson family's operation.


 Power's Toll Bridge

Located on the Ogeechee River, Power's Bridge was mentioned in an 1820 document.


 Sharpe's Toll Bridge

In 1903, M.C. Sharpe built a toll bridge across the Ogeechee River to Scarboro in Screven County. This may have been built on some of the land deeded to John Sharpe along the Ogeechee River in 1784.


Tillman's Ferry / Tillman's Bridge

This particular bridge was located where Kennedy's Bridge now crosses the Canoochie River between Hound (or Wound) and Dry Creeks. The ferry was built and operated by Joseph Tillman (or Tighlman). Quite curiously, according to some older maps, there was another Tillman's Ferry/Bridge across the “Ohoopee River” further west along the road that crossed Edward's Ferry into Bulloch County.


Young’s Toll Bridge (or Williams and Young’s Bridge)

This bridge was (apparently) built on land granted to William Young in 1784. William Young was a member of the Council of Safety appointed in Savannah on June 22, 1775, and on the 4th of July Young represented the district of Savannah at the Provincial Congress. He moved to Screven County, where he lived on a hill overlooking the Ogeechee River valley. Records show the bridge existed and was being operated by the same family in 1836. Documents show that their neighbors, the McCalls, operated what they called McCall's Bridge for a while. It crossed the Ogeechee River just north of the Bryan and Effingham County borders. It is unknown, but is possible, that the two bridges were actually one and the same bridge.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com.

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