Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Rooster Bridge

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: On the south side of Co. Road 8, Demopolis, AL
County: Marengo
Coordinates: N 32° 27.156    W 088° 00.378
  32.4526    -88.0063
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM4VQR


Side 1:
In 1919 a rooster sale organized by Frank Derby raised money to begin construction of a bridge over the Tombigbee River at Moscow Ferry. This was the last link in the completion of the Dixie Overland Highway between Savannah & San Diego.

The idea was "To Bridge the Bigbee with Cock": roosters would be solicited from world famous persons & an auction & barbeque held in the City of Demopolis for the benefit of the bridge.

Congressman "Buck" Oliver, Admiral William S. Benson & Secretary of Navy, Josephus Daniels helped sell President Wilson on the idea. He & the others of the Big Four, Lloyd George Cemenceau & Orlando who were meeting at the Versailles Conference, shipped roosters on the U.S.S. Northern Pacific. Governor Kilby sent 27 prominent Alabamians to the White House to receive the roosters from President Wilson (continued on back)

Side 2:
By August 14, 1919, 600 roosters & one hen (from Helen Keller) had arrived in Demopolis. President Wilson's rooster auctioned for $44,000. Over $200,000 was pledged but most was not collected. The names of 88 donors appear on markers at the original site one mile down stream. With the addition of State & Federal funds the bridge was constructed & opened in 1925 as The Memorial Bridge. Always known locally as The Rooster Bridge, the name was officially changed in 1959 when a bill sponsored by Sen. E.O. Eddins passed the State Legislature. In July, 1971 a bill sponsored by State Representatives I. D. Pruitt & R. S. Manley was approved, which decreed that all future bridges over the Tombigbee at Moscow would be named The Rooster Bridge & bear plaques relating the unique history of the first bridge.

Erected by the Alabama Highway Department)

End of The Rooster Bridge