Built in 1820, the Poinsett Bridge, located just north of Greenville
, is believed to be the oldest surviving bridge in South Carolina
. It was named for Charleston
native and US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett. (Poinsett is also credited with bringing the poinsettia flower, which now bears his name, to the United States.) The bridge was part of the original State Road, a toll road that ran from Charleston through Columbia
to North Carolina.
© David Vanover of Boiling Springs
Constructed from locally quarried stone, the Poinsett Bridge was one of three stone bridges along the stretch of State Road referred to as the Saluda Mountain Road. The bridge features stepped parapet sidewalls and is marked by a 15-foot Gothic arch which forms the passage for Little Gap Creek, a small tributary of the North Saluda River.
At the time of the bridge's design, Poinsett was the director of the South Carolina Board of Public Works. It is speculated that Robert Mills
, architect of many South Carolina buildings as well as the Washington Monument, may have designed the bridge.
SCIWAY thanks David Vanover
of Boiling Springs
for submitting this picture.
Learn more about the Poinsett Bridge Heritage Preserve
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