Saturday, July 2, 2011

Forks of Cypress & Ghost Bridge - Florence, Alabama - July 1, 2011

After eating a wonderful breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express in Florence, Alabama we jumped in our car and drove to the outskirts of town - down County Road 41. The remains of The Forks of Cypress can be seen on the left side of the road just past a sharp 90 degree curve.

The Forks of Cypress plantation was established in 1818 by James and Sarah Jackson. This home was one of Alabama's great houses featuring perhaps the earliest peristyle colonnade (outer colonnade of posts supporting extended eaves) in America. The Forks stood until June 6, 1966 (6/6/66) when it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Its surrounding brick porch with twenty-three brick columns, once plastered with a mix of lime, horsehair, and molasses - topped by cypress Ionic capitals, remains on limestone foundations. *This information came directly from the historic marker on the property.

Local rumor says that the only reason the columns survived the massive fire was because they were made from horse hair, which is flame retardant. The columns are on private property behind an electric fence. We pulled in the property's driveway to snap a few pictures. A replica of the mansion was built in downtown Florence several years after the house burned. The replica house is currently the home of Region's Bank.

Near the Forks' columns, County Road 282 comes to a "dead" end at The Ghost Bridge
The Ghost Bridge is an old one-lane wood and metal bridge that is closed to traffic.
We tried to enter the road from the south end (closest to the Forks) but a locked chain-link fence blocked our way. We drove around to the north entrance and were excited to see that the only thing blocking our entry to the bridge was a rotten pine log. 

The infamous ghost bridge was said to be the site of many hangings in the mid-to-late 19th Century. It has also been rumored that satanic rituals, cat hangings, and "ghost sightings" have also occurred here.



The spookiest part of the bridge is the large burned-out hole right in the center.
During the day it is not very spooky, but the boys think that if a big enough turtle jumps into the water at night it could be pretty bone-chilling.


3 comments:

  1. I live right across the field from the Forks. It is truly amazing. I have been to Ghost Bridge, and sadly there is truth behind what happened (happens) there. At least about the satanic rituals anyway, but normally only on Halloween. I studied about the Forks in school and never knew it was just right here until we moved down here a couple months ago from Wayne Co Tenn. And now I can see the colannades everytime I come to the end of my road. It is incredible

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  2. I loved reading your blog about Forks of Cypress. I have been a blogger since 2008 and I have several blogs that I work on every month. I linked you to a post that I did on Forks of Cypress on my blog: Born and Raised In The South.., I also enjoyed your story on the haunted bridge.

    Palmer Waters

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  3. I was born 1962 and raised very close to this area. As youngsters we hunted, hiked and explored all of the woods all around the Forks and Ghost Bridge. Many stories were told about rituals and devils about the area but I personally could not validate any activity other than as teenagers Ghost Bridge was a hangout. The hole in the bridge was not there in the late 70's and it was used for traffic back then. I spent many of nights sitting on top of the bridge and many days target shooting from the bridge.

    Don Fuller

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