Henley Mill Bridge – 130 years and still going
Also known as Kings Mill Bridge, the truss was built in 1884 by the Champion Bridge Company. It is located west of Highway 58 on Big Sewee Road (County Road 407) north of Decatur. The bridge traverses Sewee Creek and is adjacent to the site of the old Henley (Kings) Mill after which the bridge was named.
The Henley Mill was located on the immediate west side of the bridge. There was also a general store and blacksmith in the nearby area.
Shown here are Bartlett K. Henley and Mattie King Henley. Mattie’s family built the Henley Mill.
The bridge was declared structurally deficient by the Tennessee Department of Transportation in June 2014 and subsequently closed by the Meigs County Highway Department.
Though not heavily traveled, the historic value of the bridge became a rallying cry for its restoration with then mayor of Meigs County, Garland Lankford leading the way. The bridge has a lineage dating back to 1884 and was posted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Contractor George Thomas agreed to perform the work at minimal expense. The modest price for Thomas’ work came from his commitment to preserve the historic bridge.
Meigs County contractor George Thomas completed the work to restore the historic Henley Mill Bridge and it was reopened to the public on May 1, 2015. He was presented with a plaque to commemorate his efforts at a ceremony on that Friday afternoon. Shown here, from left, are State Sen. Mike Bell, former Meigs County Mayor Garland Lankford, Thomas, Meigs County Mayor Bill James and State Rep. Dan Howell.