Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Swinging Bridge

The pictures below are of the swinging bridge in Buchanan. The bridge is used for foot traffic and crosses the James River.

It has an interesting history.

This is the only such structure to cross the James River.  The bridge was initially constructed as a toll bridge by the Buchanan Turnpike Company. The toll was a nickel per person, wagon, or animal.

The bridge is 366 feet long. Some parts of the bridge, most notably the rock piers, date back to 1851, and Civil War troops used it to cross the river.

Uncle Buddy and Cousin Kathy stroll along the bridge.

The bridge, then a covered bridge, was burned in 1864 by General John McCausland in an effort to keep  Union troops from using the bridge to cross into Buchanan to burn parts of it during Hunter's Raid.

Cousin Don acting a little silly.

After the Civil War, the bridge was rebuilt, but a flood washed it away in 1877. The bridge subsequently has been replaced several times, finally becoming a pedestrian bridge in 1938.

The bridge is featured on the Town of Buchanan's official seal.


  1. I have yet to visit the bridge. Looks rather scary, but I think I would like to cross it just to say that I have.


  2. I could never cross that bridge! I'm getting woozy just looking at the pics...

  3. An interesting post. I love that bridge. Next time I'm in the area, I will check it out.

  4. I didn't know this bridge was here. How do I live some place for nine years and miss a great thing like this?!


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