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Email: David Brinkman
2009: PBS's History Detectives comes to Columbia to investigate the
Broad River Civil War Bridge story. The S.C. Confederate Relic Room and
Military Museum, The S.C. Department of Archives and History, The State
Archaeologist, and myself, all take part in the
story. The mystery is solved. See it in the season finale of History
Detectives (in Hi-Def) on September 7th, 2009 (Labor Day) at 9PM EST
(8PM CST). The show will also be made available (after Sept 7th) on the
new PBS Video portal at: http://video.pbs.org/video/1914693167/
Fall 2008: Biggest finds made in almost 4 years of research: Detailed 1867
and 1870 Engineering Surveys of The Columbia Canal on the Broad
River. The location of the 1870 Broad River Bridge and Ferry is shown. Remains
have been found at the 1870 bridge location site on the west and east side of
the river. Could this be the Confederate bridge site? Could the 1870 ferry site
be Stark's old ferry site (and Sherman's Pontoon crossing
Click here to see the 1867 and 1870 surveys.
Click here to see photos of the site.
Spring 2007: Error found in Mills 1825 Lexington/Richland Atlas. The canal on the Broad
River is shown as being 1 mile long. This has been proven wrong
with an 1806 plat, an 1820 Blackburn/Coate map, and numerous historical
documents. The Blackburn/Coate maps are an amazing find and overlays
show an exact matching of today's Broad River Road, Bush River
Road, North Main Street, and River Drive. The maps also show the
McGowan and Stark ferry crossing points. This all agrees with
the newly found 1867 and 1870 surveys. There is now no longer any
doubt about the location of these Ferries and Bridge.
Fall: 2007: A newly discovered 1865 S.C. General Assembly Petition places
the burned Confederate Bridge below Stark's old Ferry site and
just above McGowans old Ferry site.
Fall 2007: An 1858 book (Part one of: The Annals of Newberry: In Two Parts
By John Belton O'Neall, John Abney Chapman) places the 1858 Broad
River Bridge at the site of the old McGowans Ferry.
Fall 2007: A second bridge abutment has been found about 100 yards downstream
of the other abutment off Castle Road. Based on historical documents, this would
be the first (1791) Columbia bridge across the Broad River.