Historic Markers Across Alabama

Site of Selma-Dallas County's 1st Bridge 1884-1940

Marker ID:  
Location: on Washington Street south of Water Avenue ,
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 24.384    W 087° 1.073
  32.4064    -87.01788333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNAMB


Toll Fees
(Until 1900)
5¢ Pedestrians
10¢ Peddlers, Horseman
25¢ 1 Horse Buggy
50¢ 2 Horse Buggy
75¢ 4 Horse Buggy

Camelback type
High Truss Bridge

1- 228’ Swing Span
2- 200’ Fixed Spans
1- 265’ Approach

Built by
Bridge Works
Cost: $55,000 (1885)

The corner stone of the 1st bridge across the Alabama River in Dallas County was laid in Nov. 1884 and the bridge opened in 1885. There were three spans, the north span would turn to allow river traffic to pass. When open the steamers had only a 100 foot clearance between the piers. The turning operation required a bridge tender to manually turn the capstan to open the span. He lived at the existing house, with his family, and was on duty 24 hours a day. Tolls were collected until 1900 when the County purchased the bridge for $65,000 and made it free to cross. On May 25, 1940 the modern Edmund Pettus Bridge opened and the old bridge was removed. Only the curved landing, the cornerstone and the house survive today.

The Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society has preserved this site.

Erected by Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.

End of Site of Selma-Dallas County's 1st Bridge 1884-1940