Coldwater covered Bridge
Backstory and Context
The Coldwater Covered Bridge, also known as the Hughes Mill Covered Bridge, is a locally owned wooden covered bridge that spans the inlet to Oxford Lake in Calhoun County, Alabama. This bridge was built across the Coldwater Creek so travelers could cross the creek. It is located at Oxford Lake Park off State Route 21 in the city of Oxford, about 4 miles south of Anniston. This bridge is 63 feet long. The bridge is sitting on less than one acre of land.
This bridge was built in 1850. It was built by a former slave, possibly a forerunner of the famed bridge-builder Horace King, another freed slave who would build wooden bridges throughout the Deep South. The 63 foot bridge is a rare construction of Multiple King-post truss with Town Lattice over a single span. Coldwater Creek Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1973. It is currently the oldest existing covered bridge in Alabama. The bridge is maintained by the City of Oxford.
The Coldwater Covered Bridge partially burned in the early morning hours of August 11, 1920 but was able to be repaired and remain open to motor vehicle traffic. A concrete and steel bridge eventually replaced the aging Coldwater Covered Bridge in 1974, which was soon left to temporarily survive the elements. In 1990, the bridge was fully restored and moved to Oxford Lark Park. The tin roof which was originally on the covered bridge has been replaced with a shingled roof. It is now one of many visited tourist attractions within the Anniston area.