|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.
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.
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.
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