Lula Covered Bridge is also known as Blind Susie Bridge or Hyder Bridge. It is in Banks County, Georgia and is 34 feet in length. It was finally added in 1975 to the National Register of Historical Places as Structure #75002194.
In 1915, W. M. Thomas built Lula Bridge in a king post design frame. It spanned across a small tributary to Oak Grove Creek. It then moved and is now located off Highway 51 approximately 3 miles east of Lula on Antioch Church Road on a abandoned golf course. As it is now private party property, it hasn’t been in service as an active transportation covered bridge since 1969. On October 16, 1967, a deed selling an 80 foot right-of-way to the county was notarized with twelve signatures. The selling price was listed as $1. Included was “…that tract of land lying and being in the Poplar Springs Grove River along and on either side thereof for slopes fills and drainage necessary for the construction and maintenance…”.
What was once a terribly unique and beautiful little bridge, the smallest in the state, is now in a state of shambles. The disarray of the area is packed with woodland overgrowth, storm damaged shingles, and simple ambivalence to the upkeep.
The bridge’s 34 foot single span is unique to bridge building. It is extremely rare to find it in a king post design due to the way that particular bridge outlay is constructed. Lula Bridge was modified with a center support rod from the apex of the bridge to the roadway to support the weight of it.
On August 10, 1993, the historical society president, the chamber of commerce president Bonnie Johnson, county commissioner chairman Milton Patterson, the school superintendent Dock Sisk, and property owners Clint Tate and Sam Rogers signed an agreement to preserve and protect the bridge. Some of the contract reads:
“…whereas the bridge was restored through the efforts of Andrew K. Walker, Georgia First Bank, and Harry Holland, Marietta Bridge and Culvert, and whereas the bridge has now fallen into a state of disrepair and the immediate land area as well as the old road bed are overgrown with brush, trees and scrubs and it is the intention of all parties to preserve the Blind Susie Bridge and to provide reasonable, but safe access for the community and other interested parties enter into the agreement…” After this agreement, however, a battle seems to have ensued on whether it was even possible to preserve the bridge. Some had issue with it being on private property. Once Banks County Board of Commissioners chairman Kenneth Brady said that volunteered were “ran off” by a property owner when they tried to clean up around the bridge; this hasn’t been confirmed or denied.
The Banks Chamber of Commerce held a dedication ceremony for the bridge on October 21, 1994.
Legend of Blind Susie
Blind Susie is indeed a colorful character that was the old source of naming for the Lula Bridge. Lore has it that Blind Susie was an elderly woman who would sell moonshine to travelers near the bridge. She would keep the moonshine hidden under the hems of her long southern skirts to hide from local law enforcement. Blind Susie was somewhat of an institution around this particular section of town, and people would refer to the bridge as “Blind Susie’s Bridge” or just “Blind Susie Bridge”.