For several years, I've been fortunate to be a member of the Board of Directors for the Old Railroad Bridge Company, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit historical preservation organization. We own the bridge seen in the RIGHT foreground, which predates the American Civil War, and which - until about a little over a decade, or so ago - was still in daily use.
The railroad company decided to abandon the entire railroad, including the bridge, which at the time included a vertical lift which spanned the navigable channel of the Tennessee River, seen where the tug boat is situated. When it was learned the railroad company had plans to destroy the bridge, a group of local concerned citizens sought to prevent the railroad from destroying such a valuable historic architectural monument to our nation and its history. The railroad was convinced, and deeded the property to the newly formed Old Railroad Bridge Company, Inc. That was several years ago.
Now, as the Board's Vice President, because of the bridge's historical and economic significance it has been to the state of Alabama and the Southeastern United States in general, I have embarked upon obtaining National Historic Landmark status for the bridge. Manged by the United States Park Service, the program is designed to recognize and honor the nation's cultural and historical heritage.
The National Park Service says this about the NHL program: "National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction."
Alabama has 36 National Historic Landmarks, three of which are in the Shoals area of Northwest Alabama - where this bridge is situated.
Those three National Historic Landmark sites are:
1.) Wilson Dam, which construction began in 1918 (which is to the viewer's RIGHT, and not seen in the image);
2.) Ivy Green, Helen Keller Birthplace, built in 1820 in Tuscumbia, and;
3.) Barton Hall, a antebellum plantation built in 1840 located near the town of Cherokee.
Details on our bridge - which was opened for traffic in 1837 - may be found here, on the BridgeHunter website.