Georgia's Poole's Mill Covered Bridge in Cumming Georgia - This 1901 covered bridge was built by Bud Gentry over Settledown Creek in Forsyth County. Historic marker, picnic area and parking are available at this bridge.
Poole's Mill Covered Bridge - Phone: 770-887-6461 - In Cumming Georgia (Forsyth Co.) Bridge Description: This bridge was built in 1901 by Bud Gentry. It is 94.6 feet long by 14.5 feet wide. It's truss is town lattice. It runs over Settendown Creek. It has a parking area, picnic area and historic marker.
North Georgia is blessed with a wild and beautiful land. The fingers of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains spread over the north central part of the State and become the watershed to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico with every valley nourished by lively streams. It was to this land the pioneers of the state came to lay the foundations for their homes, mills and churches. Because of the rugged land and poor transportation the settlements sprang-up close together. "No more'en a mile or two apart," according to W.A. Wood. Not many crossings by ford could be made on the wild streams and so the need for bridges arose. - From "Covered Bridges of Georgia" by Thomas L. French, Jr. & Edward L. French.
The site of the bridge dates back to the 1820's. The original construction of this bridge began with a contractor who drilled all the holes in the lattice members in the wrong place. After fitting up the pieces he realized they were in the wrong place and abandoned the project. Work was finished by Bud Gentry but required drilling new holes in the old members. You can still see the misplaced holes today. Even the treads of the bridge are members that could not be used because of the misplaced holes. Treads with holes side-by-side were to have been used in the chords, while those with diagonally offset holes would have been lattice members.
Though this bridge looked very beat up, structurally it was quite sound (see Stovall Mill for a bridge that looked sound and wasn't). With the addition of a new pier in the middle, new weatherboarding, and a new wood shingle roof, this bridge looks as good as new.
The pier in the middle of the creek was built during the 1998 rehab to take the sag out of the bridge and provide support. First a cofferdam was built and water was pumped out to give a dry work area. Then the bridge was jacked up in the middle lifting its end off of the abutment. Over a few days the bridge deformed under its own weight and settled back onto the abutment. Incremental jacking continued until the bridge was reasonably straight. Though it never was made totally straight (you can see the sag a little in the picture at right) the weatherboarding was cut straight along the bottom to hide the sag. For the sake of authenticity the pier was given a smooth concrete finish rather than trying to make it look like part of the original bridge by finishing it with rock facing.
Directions: From Atlanta, take I-285 to Georgia 400 north to Cumming, go 7 miles west on Hwy. 20 to Ducktown, 3 miles north to Heardsville, and 1 mile north on Poole's Mill Road. In Lake Lanier area in Northeast Mountains Travel Region.