Historic Markers Across Alabama

Byler Road / Natural Bridge Timeline

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: Natural Bridge, AL
County: Winston
Waymark: None


The Byler Road

The Byler Road was Alabama's first state road. Governor W.W. Bibb Signed into law a bill authorizing its Construction December 16, 1819.

The turnpike was named for John Byler, its chief promoter. Byler and his associates were directed to build a road 12 feet wide, clear of all roots and stumps and to collect all tolls for 12 years.

Complete in 1822, the road ran from Tuscaloosa to near Muscle Shoals. Linking the markets of the Tennessee Valley with the head of navigation of the Black Warrior River. After 1826, when Tuscaloosa became the state capital. It was"the Main Street of Northwest Alabama.” The Union General J.H. Wilson passed over the road in March, 1865 with 13,480, cavalrymen (one of the largest cavalry raids in world history) in route to the Battle of Selma. While passing through this area Wilson's troops divested all the local citizens of there worldly possessions.

Natural Bridge Timeline

1820- Byler Road completed through what is known now as Natural Bridge.

1850- Hancock Co. was created from Northern Walker Co.

1857-Larissa P.O. was established near the Natural Bridge area

1858- Hancock County was renamed Winston County in Honor of John A. Winston the first native Born Governor of Alabama

1861-The War between the States begins with Winston Co. being known as the" The Free State of Winston”

1865- Wilson's Cav. Passes through Byler Road and the war ends the same year

1885- Prior to 1885 the Natural Bridge area was known as Larissa later Lodi and later settling on the name Natural Bridge when the Rail Road was started

1890- North Alabama railroad built through Natural Bridge and Post Office established with John L. Cagle as Postmaster

1891- Mason Lodge #501 formed in Natural Bridge.

1905- Sarah E. Denton (Johnson) was appointed the first female Postmaster.

1910- Engineer Walch was killed in derailment at Natural Bridge.

1914- Town of Natural Bridge incorporated, First Mayor James A. Edmonds. Other early Mayors were David Garrett and George Dupree.

1915- First Telephone system in town was owned and operated by RSM. Wright, the wire ran from Haleyville.

1927- Glen Mary Post Office consolidated with Natural Bridge Post Office.

1930 - The one room School House on Center Street Burnt to the ground and a new larger school was built later near Byler Road.

1950's- U.S. #278 and Alabama Hwy. # 5 was built through Natural Bridge with this being the first small stretch of Four Lane for Winston County.

1954- Natural Bridge park opened bringing visitors to the area from all over the world

1960's- a motel, restaurant, and a truck stop were built at the four way intersection, Hwy 13 was completed.

1964- Winston Co. Board of Ed. Closed Natural Bridge School

1997- Town of Natural Bridge was Re-incorporated Farrah Tittle was appointed mayor by the Probate Judge.

2000- A.G."Pete” Parrish was the first elected mayor since the 1920's

2001- A New Town Hall & Community Center was started.
Winston County

End of Byler Road / Natural Bridge Timeline