All that remains of a once thriving industrial complex in the heart of northeast Georgia is this recently reconstructed bridge and a dam across Chickamauga Creek east of Helen (history of Helen, Georga. The bridge carried traffic from Rabun County (history of Rabun County) to the Unicoi Turnpike, which passed a few miles south of this point.
The bridge (pictured left), now owned by the White County Historical Society, was built in 1895 by Will Pardue after an older bridge was destroyed during a storm. The earlier bridge had been built by Fred Dover, who also owned a grist mill, saw mill, shingle mill, and other businesses. Dover constructed the dam as a power source. The dam still can be seen a few feet from the bridge.
In 1917 Fred Stoval purchased the enterprise and the bridge became known as Stovall Bridge at the time. One of a few remaining covered bridges in the state, Stovall Bridge has been known by a variety of names including Chickamauga Creek Bridge, Helen Bridge, Sautee Bridge and Nachoochee Bridge.
In November, 2000, the Georgia Historic Society placed a marker on the site commemorating not only the bridge.
The bridge spans the creek in the same place the old Rabun Road ran. This road actually pre-dated the Unicoi Turnpike and ran from Virginia to Gainesville, Georgia. It crossed the old Unicoi Turnpike about two miles south of present-day Helen, Georgia.
Location: On the Old Clayton Highway, east of Sautee
Directions: From Helen, take State Road 75 south to State Road 17 (turn left). Turn left at the Old Sautee Store on State Road 255. The bridge is on the right.
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 6, 2003
Covered Bridge Listing
Poole's Mill Covered Bridge
Watson Mill Bridge State Park
Elder's Mill Covered Bridge
Euharlee Covered Bridge (also called the Lowry Covered Bridge)