Remains of Old Godwin Bridge

Florida, like most of the country, changed significantly in the late 19th and 20th century. The original industries such as cotton, turpentine, logging, citrus,and the tourism that arose from game hunting and the “healing waters” of various springs shrunk or gave way to other industries. For most people, Florida consists of theme parks and the annual winter migration from the north for the sun, beach, and tourist activities provided by local entrepreneurs.

We sometimes come across remains of the infrastructure that supported the reduced or extinct industries. Entire towns disappeared along rivers that no longer provided the primary transportation mode, other towns shrunk when the healing waters of their springs no longer drew crowds. In some places the only physical reminder of a once thriving town where people lived, worked, and died years ago is a historical marker along a busy road. In other places the remains of structures such as this bridge provide the only visual evidence of the past.

The pilings of Old Godwin Bridge and the marker sit along the banks of the Suwanee River, accessed via a hiking trail in Big Shoals State Park.

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