ROAD TRIP MONDAY: Poinsett Bridge

by D. Lanier Shook        May 8, 2013

When you travel to Greenville, South Carolina along Highway 25 I’m guessing the road itself — the pavement —is not one of your major concerns. North and South Carolina have done a great job on the stretch of highway between Flat Rock and Traveler’s Rest, but it wasn’t always this way.

The Poinsett Bridge is not only a great example of the progress our roadways have made, it’s also relatively easy to get to, and it’s free. It’s also a great example of what is less than an hour away for residents of Western North Carolina. All of this — and more—puts it high on my list of “must see” attractions for the Upstate of South Carolina.

This is the historic marker at the site.

This is the historic marker at the site.

The Bridge is a great opportunity to learn what roads were like two hundred years ago. It’s the ultimate in hands-on history lessons. When you and your friends leave Poinsett Bridge you’ll have literally walked in the steps of history.

Even though this has been an inactive road for a very long time, the area north of the bridge gives a good idea of what nineteenth century roads were like.

Even though this has been an inactive road for a very long time, the area north of the bridge gives a good idea of what nineteenth century roads were like.

Here's the bridge, not quite six feet wide.

Here’s the bridge, not quite six feet wide.

The bridge itself is in incredible shape. Even though the masonry seems rough in places, most of it is in better shape than some fifty year old buildings I’ve seen. I sure hope I’ll be holding up that well when I’m a hundred ninety seven years old.

This is a testament to the work of the builders.

This is a testament to the work of the builders.

This is a great view of the side of the bridge, where you can see the Gothic arch.

This is a great view of the side of the bridge, where you can see the Gothic arch.

Poinsett Bridge is a great piece of history in great shape, but it’s also easy to get to. There are several signs on Highway 25 that indicate where to turn off to get to the bridge. The road to the bridge is a mountain road I wouldn’t want to try during icy weather but most of the year it should be in great shape. Once you get to the bridge there’s a wonderful gravel lot to park in right across the road from the Bridge site.

These steps are testimony to the value that South Carolina and its citizens place on their history and sharing that history with folks like us.

These steps are testimony to the value that South Carolina and its citizens place on their history and sharing that history with folks like us.

Just to give you a really good idea of what the area around Poinsett Bridge is like — and to convince you to visit it — I took a walk around video of the bridge and posted it on YouTube. You can click here to check it out the site from parking lot to the bridge. Its a great place to visit but, as Lamar Burton would say, you don’t have to take my word for it. There’s already alot on the web about the bridge you may want to check out before or after you visit the site and here are a few of the links.

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4 responses to “ROAD TRIP MONDAY: Poinsett Bridge

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