Stovall Mill Covered Bridge

A Very Sad Baboon map
Stovall Mill Covered Bridge
From Stovall Covered Bridge

Well, I am a bit angry and very sad to have to report this to everybody. Most of you know that I am attempting to visit, among other places, every covered bridge in Georgia. And this one particular covered bridge had been getting bumped from my travels due to the onset of night over and over again. It was very close to Helen, Georgia and I always figured I could get it next time. But as luck would have it, I made it to the Stovall Mill Covered Bridge, camera in tow, this past weekend.
Stovall Bridge across the water

Now, I was prepared for a lot of things. I knew that this was the smallest of the covered bridges, being one lane wide and a mere 33 feet in length. So I thought I might be a little underwhelmed by its tiny size. I knew that it wasn’t built by one of the famous bridge builders, but rather by Fred Dover, a local man, who owned the grist mill and some other nearby businesses. But, having also read that it was featured in the 1951 movie, I’d Climb the Highest Mountain, I figured that it would be worth a quick visit.
Stovall Covered Bridge

As I approached the site, just three miles North on 255 off 75 out of Helen, everything looked good: easy access, nice little stream with a old handmade dam next to it, and the beauty of rustic brown Georgia wood. But what I found inside made me a little sick to my stomach, the entirety of the inside was littered with graffiti. It was a desecration. A beautiful piece of our Georgia countryside was destroyed by idiots most of them leaving their names on the wall. Gale, Dennis, Robert, Beverly, & Zach (just to name a few) should be ashamed of yourselves and if you are ever found you should be prosecuted and forced to do restitution. If you know one of these people, punch them hard in the arm for me. If you are one of these people, get a few of your buddies together and head to the White County Historical Society to apologize and offer to help repair what you damaged, hopefully not irrevocably. This whole thing makes this baboon very, very sad.

Now if you can look past the graffiti, what you have is a wonderful piece of Americana. A cute little covered bridge built way back in 1895, easily 80 years before the hoodlum vandals were born. The woodwork on the inside is a maze of beam unlike any other bridge I have seen. It even has its own ghost story , the claim being that if you stand in the middle of the bridge at night you will hear babies crying or the approach of unseen horse drawn carriages, but alas we went in daylight hours, but I’ll check back later.
the handmade dam nearby

And if you are a visitor to our fair state from someplace else, there is a lot to love about this area, and I am one of its chief proponents. So please do not judge us by the handful of morons who do things such as this. Most of us are bright decent people, the vandals, such as those mentioned, are the ones that give credence to the idea that we began as a penal colony


  1. We visited that bridge a couple of years ago. Like you, I found it upsetting to see what had been done to it. While comparing my picture to yours, I found that it is much worse than when I was there. So sad!

  2. You take some beautiful photographs, my friend.

    I just stumbled on your blog from a link on city-data.

    I am a local Realtor, Managing Broker of Lilburn Realty, and I would like to add a link to your blog on mine. I love to offer information like yours to folks who might be thinking of moving to our area.

    And of course, if you're ever looking for a Realtor, keep me in mind.

  3. Linda FainMay 04, 2011

    I live in Virginia and my husband and I serve on the planning committee for the annual VIRGINIA COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL. 3rd Saturday in June every year (check us out on Facebook). We have 2 covered bridges, on public property, in our area (total of 5 throughout the state). Last year we visited Helen, Georgia (what an interesting place!) and ventured to the Stovall Mill bridge while we were in the area. I was taken aback by the graffiti. Really sad that some knotheads (nicely put) feel compelled to vandalize such a wonderful piece of history. But such idiots are everywhere, although I'm proud to say our two covered bridges here haven't been vandalized. If they were I think I'd have to go hunt down the culprits! I'd like to come back and test out the ghost story! Thanks for the info.

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