Tag Archives: National Register of Historic Places

Horace King-The Master Bridge Builder

Horace King, 1807-1885, was considered the preeminent bridge builder in the South. It is believed he built over 100 bridges, most of them being in Alabama and Georgia. King was born into slavery in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. His enslaver, John Godwin, earned a bid to build a bridge over the Chattahoochee River. King moved with Godwin to Girard, Alabama, to begin the project.

In 1846, Godwin decided to no longer hold King in bondage. I have also read that King purchased his freedom. At this point, King’s services were in high demand to build bridges. He moved freely throughout the South. He is credited with building bridges at many points over the Chattahoochee River and other rivers. Outside of bridges, he built homes and warehouses. He also built the freestanding spiral staircase in the Alabama State Capitol.

Spiral staircase at Alabama State Capitol. (Photo credit- Library of Congress, HABS)

In 1839, he married free woman, Frances Gould Thomas. They had four boys and one girl. For whatever reason, the grave markers for the four boys have the birthdate of 1844. Based on census records, which can be incorrect, I believe Washington King was born in 1840, Marshall in 1842, John in 1846, and George in 1850. All of the children were involved in the construction company that they called the King Brothers Bridge Company.

The long approach of the Red Oak Covered Bridge is located outside of Woodbury, Georgia in the community of Imlac. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The graves of Horace and Marshall King in the Mulberry Street Cemetery complex is located in LaGrange, Georgia. The city of LaGrange has been restoring this part of town and recently added a covered bridge to honor King.
Johnson Mill Bridge in Harris County, Georgia (courtesy Digital Library of Georgia

Pierced Headstones of Abbott’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church-Thomasville, North Carolina

grave marker with designs that cut through the marker

The Abbott’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church was founded in 1756 in Davidson County, North Carolina. This is one of twelve county cemeteries containing at least one pierced headstone made by local craftsmen during the early to mid-nineteenth century.

In 1981, the National Endowment for the Humanities conducted a photographic survey of these soapstone markers and categorized them in different phases of styles. This type of sculptural work in cemeteries in North America has only been found in this part of North Carolina.

In the mid-eighteenth century, this part of North Carolina was being settled by people from Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. The Germans are attributed to the craftsmanship seen in these stones.

This cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Elisabeth Bodenhamer, 1803-1824
Jacob Bodenheimer, 1827
Elizabeth Jones
Ezekiel Teague, 1770-1839

St. George’s Episcopal Church-Pungoteague, Virginia

Picture credit: Library of Congress. Taken in 1930.

Built in 1738, the St. George’s Church is the oldest extant church on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Federal Troops used it as a horse stable and caused great damage. It was rebuilt after the Civil War. Some of the original brickwork is still in place. The church is used sporadically, along with its cemetery.

Notice the checkered pattern. This is an early American example of the Flemish bond. You can read more about it and why the brick appears white in some photos on this website.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Market Street Methodist Church-Onancock, Virginia

Built in 1882 as a Carpenter Gothic style church, the building was remodeled in 1898 to become more Victorian Gothic. Based on the designs by Baltimore architect Benjamin B. Owens, the church added several stained glass windows, gabled entrances, and the towers. The brown shingles were also added during this renovation.

It’s a contributing structure to the Onancock Historic District.