A piece of history: Poinsett Bridge

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 11:10 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - In the hills of Travelers Rest, you’ll find Poinsett Bridge.

“The Poinsett Bridge is a real gem for the state of South Carolina,” said Daughters of the American Revolution Regent Cathy Cannon-Hubka. “It was built in the 1820s and it took about a year, which to me, is a short amount of time to have built this bridge.”

It was originally designed as one of three.

“It was to create a connection between [Poinsett’s] hometown in Charleston to Columbia, South Carolina to the Upstate,” Cannon-Hubka explained. “When he did this connection physically, he also connected them emotionally.”

Uniting South Carolina. Now, Poinsett Bridge is the only one left and the oldest bridge in the Palmetto State.

“I cannot believe that it is standing there,” said Cannon-Hubka.

Nowadays, you’ll find people walking on the piece of history. Back in the 1800s, history teacher Cannon-Hubka says it was not a pedestrian bridge.

“It was built as part of the roadway system and it was built wide enough so that big buggies could travel,” Cannon-Hubka explained.

The bridge was made without any concrete and named after Joel Poinsett. A man from a well-off family who spent years in Europe, before returning home to the states.

“He led a life of service,” Cannon-Hubka said. “He could be known for many things other than this bridge- for being the first ambassador to Mexico, to being a founder for the Smithsonian in DC or for his years in service for a congressman in DC or as a representative in South Carolina.”

Cannon-Hubka thinks the bridge would be what Poinsett is most proud of. It’s unknown if the politician designed the bridge or if was just named after him.

Today, you’ll find it in a fairytale-esque setting, something the regent credits to local garden clubs.

“They are helping keep this a beautiful spot that. Though it is no longer needed as a bridge it can be an inspiration for everyone in the state.”

Cannon-Hubka is also a member of the DAR, the group who placed the marker for the bridge--remembering a hometown hero.