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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Albany in Dougherty County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Bridge House

 
 
The Bridge House Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 23, 2011
1. The Bridge House Marker
Inscription. Here, at the site of an early ferry over the Flint River, Col. Nelson Tift, owner of bridge and ferry rights and the founder of Albany, had a toll bridge constructed by a well known bridge builder, a freed slave named Horace of Columbus. At the same time, in 1857, Col. Tift built this “Bridge House” with the archway serving as entrance to the bridge. The bridge keeper occupied one side of the ground floor; Col. Tiftís office the other. The second floor was a theater, known as “Tiftís Hall.” Decorated by New York artists, it was considered the most beautiful in the State. Many leading actors & actresses -- Laura Keene, Sothern, Mrs. Oates, Sol Smith Russell, Harry McCarthy, the Crisp family, the Templetonís ~ appeared on its stage. At this social center of Albany, dances, masked balls, public socials events were held.

During the War Between the States, the great cellars of this building were converted into packing houses and the back yard became a slaughter pen. Thousands of cattle, hogs, and sheep were barreled in pickle for the use of the Confederate Navy.
 
Erected 1958 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 047-2.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location.
Bridge House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 25, 2008
2. Bridge House Marker
31° 34.65′ N, 84° 8.938′ W. Marker is in Albany, Georgia, in Dougherty County. Marker is on North Front Street 0 miles north of East Broad Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112 North Front Street, Albany GA 31701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ray Charles (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dougherty County (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colonel Nelson Tift (approx. 0.2 miles away); Albanyís First Brick House (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cox Landing Park (approx. 2.2 miles away); Palymra (approx. 5 miles away); Lee County (approx. 10.8 miles away); Noted Indian Settlement (approx. 13.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Albany.
 
Also see . . .
1. Nelson Tift. Nelson Tift (July 23, 1810 – November 21, 1891) was an American jurist, businessman, soldier and politician from the state of Georgia. (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

2. History & Archaelogy. Nelson Tift (1810-1891) (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

3. GeorgiaInfo. Colonel Nelson Tift State Historical Marker Located at Albany-Dougherty County Judicial Building, Albany, Ga. (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

4. The bridgehouse. From
The Bridge House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 23, 2011
3. The Bridge House and Marker
The marker can just be seen at the far left of the building.
the Albany CVB website (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

5. Laura Keene. Laura Keene (July 20, 1826 – November 4, 1873) was an American actress and manager, whose real name was Mary Frances Moss. (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

6. History of Dougherty County. History of Dougherty County Fine Theater of Ye Olden Time. Noted Theatrical Stars page 55 (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

7. Sol Smith Russell. Sol Smith Russell (1848-1902) was an American stage actor, born at Brunswick, Missouri. He served as a drummer boy in the Union army. In 1862 he became connected with a theatre at Cairo, Ill. (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

8. Harry McCarthy. Harry McCarthy (1804-1874[1]) was a songwriter from Ulster, where he became a variety entertainer and comedian in the mid 19th century. In 1861 he wrote the song "The Bonnie Blue Flag," about the unofficial first Confederate flag, using the tune from "The Irish Jaunting Car." The song was extremely popular, rivaling "Dixie" as a Confederate anthem. The song lost some of its popularity when, late in the war, McCarthy left the South for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 
 
Categories. Notable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Backside of the Bridge House image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 25, 2008
4. Backside of the Bridge House
The Historic Bridge House, now home to the Albany Welcome Center, has been fully and beautifully restored. In 1858, Albany founder Nelson Tift hired African American bridge builder Horace King to build a covered bridge and bridge house to span the Flint River. Kingís 150-year-old brick bridge house still stands today and is the place for visitors to stop for brochures and information, as well as Albany souvenirs, including stuffed turtles (the signature painted turtle statues are found throughout downtown Albany) and kitchen and cooking items inspired by Albany native and queen of southern cuisine, Paula Deen.
The Bridge House Plaque image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 23, 2011
5. The Bridge House Plaque
This plaque, mounted to the right of the door, confirms that the Bridge House is on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 1,362 times since then and 66 times this year. Last updated on March 10, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1. submitted on March 10, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   2. submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.   3. submitted on February 8, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   4. submitted on March 18, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.   5. submitted on February 8, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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