In high school, my older cousin liked to drive us around late at night and take us down to the old bridge. It was creepy, dark, and looked like it was on its last legs. I will never forget the fear that night when my cousin drove onto the bridge and stopped in the middle will never be forgotten.
The bridge was built in 1868 over Elk Creek. Unfortunately, the bridge was destroyed by arson in 2008, yet the legend surrounding the bridge will never be forgotten.
It is rumored that the land surrounding the bridge is haunted, not the actual bridge itself. It is not only a legend that the area is haunted, but many have seen and heard the screams of the little girl who supposedly fell to her death off the cliffs known as The Devil's Backbone. As well, as have seen a lady in a white dress wandering around the fields, and sometimes you can see a man with an old-fashioned lamp out in the area searching for the little girl.
We were also always told the story of hearing a horse running across the bridge. The horse stopped in the middle of the bridge and refused to go further. It is why my cousin would stop the car in the middle of the bridge; he did get the reaction he wanted, as we all screamed our heads off.
The legend is that a farmer named Obediah Will was delivering a mule to a farmer in the area. The farmer attempted to cross the bridge, but the mule would not. The man got so angry at the mule's refusal to move forward that it was said he beat the mule to death.
Some say the mule did not move because the mule heard music that was coming from barges underneath the bridge. The barges were carrying Dan Rice's circus, and the music frightened the mule, and he died where he stood.
Who knows the truth? It is rumored that Dan Rice wrote a eulogy for the mule, but it has never been found.
The mule is buried along the creek bank; the mule's name is Gudgeon.
The history books say the bridge's name has been a mystery. However, there is a rumor that the bridge was to provide access to a gudgeon factory.
Who knows the truth about the mule and the little girl? Did she fall playing? Or is there more to the story? Is the land around the bridge haunted? I guess we will never know the truth.