Elk River Bridge

Story Mapper

A driving tour through the communities of southern Giles County, Tennessee

Elk River Bridge

The Elk River has defined life for residents of Giles County. The river served as a transportation route and a barrier, which had to be crossed by bridges or fords. There have been a total of four bridges. Spring Street once led all the way to the river bank, where a buggy or car could ford the river when the water was low. The first bridge that some residents remember was wood.

The Elk River Bridge, also known as Elk River Bridge  #7, was built in 1922 as the main crossing over the Elk at US Highway 31.

Highway 31 S
Elkton, TN 38455

Photos & Stories

Vivian Roland explains how cars and buggies forded the river at the low water mark. Ann Smith recalls her father “gravelling,” or hunting for fish with his hands and a hook. Virginia Harwell remembers the old wooden bridge and the sound of horses clopping across.

Wooden Bridge Over Elk River

First Elk River Bridge

Elk River

Merrell & Ann Smith

Iron Modern Bridge

Vivian Roland, Spring Street Sand Bar Crossing

Ann Smith, Gravelling Elk River

Virginia Harwell, Wooden Bridge

Virginia Harwell, Babcock Buggy

Virginia Harwell, Horse Buggy

on to Elkton >>