Tag Archives: history

Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River 2022-01-05

Ken Sulak, retired from USGS, sent this update on the Alapaha River bridge site 0.8 miles downstream from Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing, or 0.64 miles downstream from the CR 150 bridge. Plus a likely old ferry site, and maybe a previous location of Sullivan Launch Sasser Landing.

[Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989]
Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989 –Florida Memory

This is the site of the ‘Jennings Bridge’, a steel through-truss bridge, apparently built around 1902-1903. Some online bridge websites state that this is the oldest steel/iron highway bridge in Florida. But, that is doubtful—if the construction date I have is correct. For example, the ‘Adams Bridge’ aka ‘Steel Bridge’ in White Springs was built in 1891, and the original 2-span bowstring style bridge, the ‘Lee Bridge’ over the Withlacoochee (right where the current CR-141 bridge is located) may have been built in the late 1880s. I would like to explore the riverbank and look at what remains of the bridge supports. If there are cutoff Lally columns, then the Jennings Bridge was probably indeed built around 1902-1903. But if the supports are old limerock concrete or brick, then it would have been built before 1898.

[Jennings Bridge in WWALS ARWT map]
Jennings Bridge in the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) map.

Anyway, I was just writing to note the name of the Jennings Bridge—you might want to add that to your interactive map. Hinton’s 1976 History of Hamilton County calls it by that name, as well as Florida Memory. Some folks say it collapsed in the late 1970s, one article says 1981, Florida Memory Archive has several photos of the falling-apart, but still-standing bridge dated 1989.

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Video: Turner Bridge to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

Here’s a video of the mid-December 2021 Ken Sulak Suwannee River paddle, the part from Turner Bridge to Cypress Creek South Launch at FL 6.

FL 6 bridge, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

The images are ten seconds apart. You can see Mike Byerly’s canoe parked over one of the Lally columns of Turner Bridge in the river. You can see Ken Sulak drop a magnet to confirm that it is metal. Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling on underground water could affect proposed titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp

Here’s yet another reason you can cite when you ask the Georgia Enviromental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to stop the mining proposal by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) to strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, above the Floridan Aquifer.

David Pendered, Saporta Report, January 3, 2022 5:13 pm, Okefenokee Swamp mining proposal could be affected by Supreme Court ruling,

The proposal to mine sand near the Okefenokee Swamp could be affected by a groundbreaking ruling on water rights issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days]
Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days

For the first time, justices have determined the same laws that apply to water flowing above ground apply to water in multi-state underground aquifers.

“This court has never before held that an interstate aquifer is subject to equitable apportionment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a unanimous opinion issued Nov. 22, 2021. This doctrine “aims to produce a fair allocation of a shared water resource between two or more States,” according to the ruling.

The ruling sets a legal foundation to manage future disputes over the usage of interstate groundwater. This issue is expected to arise more frequently as drought and climate change poise to alter the United States’ traditional water supplies and challenge agreements among governments to share water.

This ruling could be brought into play at the proposed mine near the Okefenokee, in part because of the amount of water to be extracted for mining operations from the four-state Floridan Aquifer. For that to happen, a party that has standing to file a lawsuit would have to do so on behalf of one or more of the four states that are above the Floridan Aquifer — Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Two of these states have previously litigated Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. The Supreme Court ruled against Florida’s claim in April.

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Pictures: Dead River Sink 2021-11-07

Thrice rescheduled because of water levels and weather, the Dead River Sink Hike drew a small but attentive crowd to listen to Practicing Geologist Dennis Price and see the Dead River Confluence, the Dead River, and the Dead River Sink, with cypress, tupelo, oaks, pines, and beautyberry along the way, on a warm November day.

[Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners]
Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners

Jennings Bluff Landing

[Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141]
Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141

Click on any small picture for a larger one.

Dennis explains it all.

[A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865]
A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865

Let’s hike

[Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338]
Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338

Alapaha River

[Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168]
Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168

[Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832]
Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832

[Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477]
Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477

Wildlife did not leave this trash.

[Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596]
Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596

This way to the Confluence.

[Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257]
Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257

Dead River Confluence

[Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246]
Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246

[Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880]
Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880

[Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914]
Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914

[Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334]
Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334

[Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030]
Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030

Dead River Sink

[Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880]
Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880

[Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436]
Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436

You can actually drive almost all the way there.

[Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780]
Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780

This is all of us.

[Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327]
Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327

There are more pictures on the WWALS website.

For more WWALS outings, see https://wwals.net/outings/. Members also get a list in the monthly membership newsletter Tannin Times.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Turner Bridge mysteries –Ken Sulak 2021-12-16

Update 2022-01-15: Video: Turner Bridge to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16.

Here is a column about Lally columns, by Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, now researching bridge and history in the Suwannee River Basin.

Some of you may have ideas, comments, speculations on the several enigmas presented by the gone—but not forgotten by me—old Turner Bridge that spanned the upper Suwannee River from ~1900-1951.

[Lally columns, 13:52:06, 30.5246480, -82.7277260]
Lally columns, left (east) bank, Suwannee River, Columbia County, Florida, 3:52:06, 30.5246480, -82.7277260. Photo: John S. Quarterman, 2021-12-16.

Important in its time, seemingly never photographed???, but long forgotten except by a few folks in their 90s-100s. If you know any such North Florida old timers that have stories to tell, memories of any of the old ferries and bridge, and maybe old bridge photos—let me know. Having been on the trail of all the historical fords, ferries, bridges and trestles over the Suwannee River & it major tributaries, 1820-1960, I am now up to 164 individually owned or operated crossings at 64 distinct sites. Many mysteries remain, lots to learn, much has already been lost as the old timers pass along. Got to get the overall story pieced together and written up and documented with photos before I go senile or end my stay on this excellent planet.

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Pictures: Roline to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

Update 2022-01-05: Turner Bridge mysteries –Ken Sulak 2021-12-16.

Nine of us paddled the Suwannee River from Roline to Cypress Creek South Launch at FL 6, mostly to see the remains of Turner Bridge, at the invitation of Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, now researching bridge and history in the Suwannee River Basin. We saw a small gator, some dead top cypress trees, many health ones, and tupelo, pines, and oaks, as well a birds and a few fish. Mike Byerly discovered a small creek below Turner Bridge. Karst outcrops became more frequent the farther downstream we went. There was a shoal with waves for half a mile or so. An enjoyable warm winter day paddle.

[Roline, Gator, Turner Bridge, Byerly Creek]
Roline, Gator, Turner Bridge, Byerly Creek

Ken has written up his findings so far about Turner Bridge. Continue reading

History of Alapaha River Bridges, US 41 to Nobles Ferry –Ken Sulak 2021-12-08

Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, sent us some things to look for as we paddle the last stretch of the Alapaha River on February 5, 2022.

[Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges]
Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges

For your upcoming [5] Feb Alapaha adventure, some of your folks might be interested in the history of three crossing sites you will encounter. So, here you go very briefly: Continue reading

Petition to Initiate a Rulemaking for Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities –WWALS to FERC 2021-11-19

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks FERC to oversee inland Liquid Natural Gas export facilities

Hahira, Georgia, November 26, 2021 (PDF)  —  After years of trying to get FERC to pay attention to an economic, health, and safety issue, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. has asked FERC to make a rule requiring inland LNG export facilities at least to ask FERC whether it has oversight.

Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) half a decade ago disclaimed oversight of export facilities for explosive compressed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) unless ships loaded right there for overseas shipping, such facilities are lacking FERC’s environmental, construction, and safety oversight, causing risk of “ loss of life and significant environmental and economic consequences,” according to FERC’s own strategic plan. Residents of densely populated neighborhoods where inland LNG export plants are being sited, constructed, and operated are in harm’s way. FERC has relegated the responsibility to citizens to police potential threats to public health, safety and welfare posed by these high-risk LNG operations. There are no official Dockets that provide the public an opportunity to participate in any approval process.

[LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC]
LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC

Even a competing inland LNG company complained of economic issues: “During its pendency, the Commission has determined that certain LNG projects are outside its jurisdiction, permitting those projects to compete free from the FERC regulatory burdens that FGS and other FERC-regulated projects bear in what has become an active, urgent and highly competitive small-scale LNG market."

WWALS views the FERC regulatory burdens as public goods of construction, environmental, and safety review, but the point remains that competition has been warped by FERC’s inland LNG export decisions.

“We filed this Petition under the same Federal law as three cases back in 2013-2015 when FERC abdicated oversight of inland LNG export operations,” said WWALS member Cecile Scofield, who opposed an ill-conceived huge 8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year LNG import terminal in Massachusetts in early 2000 .   She also noted that, “A Rulemaking is needed to determine FERC jurisdiction before a developer spends millions of dollars constructing an inland export facility only to have it shut down by FERC after it begins operation.”

“Last March, Continue reading

GA-AL Land Trust walks Land Between the Rivers 2021-10-14

Helen Tapp sent Georgia-Alabama Land Trust to look at her Land Between the Rivers for a conservation agreement. Their Regional Stewardship Manager, Rachel Mingea, came and got the full experience, from the wildest areas near the Withlacoochee River to Old Broad Street to the Little River Confluence viewscape.

[Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River]
Little River Confluence, possible landing for Troupville River Camp, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Rachel Mingea of GA-AL Land Trust, Oak clearing at Withlacoochee River

She even met Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter at Troupville Boat Ramp. They were both enthusiastic about getting something worked out and moving on to the county or Valdosta or some combination purchasing those 74 acres to add to the 49-acre park around Troupville Boat Ramp to make a Troupville River Park nature preserve, with a Troupville River Camp on it, all at the site of Troupville, the former county seat of Lowndes County.

Here are a few pictures. Continue reading

Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12

Good news: the Lowndes County Commission yesterday unanimously denied the request to close Wells Road. This means the road stays open, and with it access to Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River, and to the Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial.

[Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18]
Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18

Here are videos courtesy of Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE). Continue reading