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Old Tugaloo River Bridge — Westminster, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Oconee County  |  Old Tugaloo River Bridge

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Old Tugaloo River Bridge

The abandoned ends of this rusty but historic truss bridge are all that remain of Old Tugaloo River Bridge, which once connected South Carolina to Georgia along US 123. Today they are known as the “Broken Bridges” and serve as two of the area’s most peaceful and scenic fishing piers. You will also find picnic tables and a boat ramp at the site.

Tugaloo River Bridge

Michael Ramy of Atlanta, GA, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Broken Bridge Fishing Piers are now part of Lake Hartwell, a man-made reservoir that features over 960 miles of shoreline and almost 56,000 acres of water. In South Carolina, Lake Hartwell spans Oconee and Anderson counties.

Shannon Young of Westminster, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

While often identified with Westminster, the old bridge is actually closer to the community of Madision. US 123 passed through the area until the 1950s, when it was rerouted and a new, decidedly less interesting bridge replaced this one.


C. Ron Laughter of Greer, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Tugaloo River is a popular place in the Upstate to enjoy water-skiing, boating, sailing, and fishing. A short river that straddles the state line, it’s fed by the Tallulah River and the Chattooga River and ends as an arm of Lake Hartwell. After it flows out of Hartwell Dam, it is then called the Savannah River.

Reflections on Old Tugaloo River Bridge

Barry Gooch, a native of Port Royal and the SC Picture Project’s very first contributor, shared these thoughts on his trip to Broken Bridge Pier: “The bridge is called a ‘Camel Truss Bridge’ and is the abandoned old US-123 bridge over the Tugaloo River (upper part of Lake Hartwell) which connects Oconee County with Stephens County, Georgia. The bridge has been partially demolished but each landward end was left for the use of fishermen. The structure is in fairly good condition and would make a good location for fishing or sightseeing.”

Tugaloo River Bridge

Barry Gooch of Port Royal, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Add your own reflections here.

Old Tugaloo River Bridge Map

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7 Comments about Old Tugaloo River Bridge

Dee Dee Arrowood says:
August 22nd, 2018 at 8:03 am

This is NOT Prathers Bridge. This ridge is located south of the old Prathers Bridge which was destroyed by fire in the 70’s.

Tom Taylor says:
April 6th, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Actually, I’m not sure this was called Prather’s Bridge. Prather’s was a covered bridge that burned in the 1970s. Here’s a photo of the old bridge abutment. https://flic.kr/p/7GcK1z

SCIWAY says:
November 7th, 2016 at 10:46 am

We believe that is still referred to as Old Prather’s Bridge. Here is a good link with information on the Tugaloo bridges:


Geraldine Williamson says:
November 4th, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Dear Sir:
I have been teaching for Prater’s Bridge–could it have been renamed the Tugaloo River Bridge?
Thank you so much!

Hank Myers says:
December 21st, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Ah, but did you know the middle section is now on Cobb Bridge rd (this is up near Riley Moore falls on the Chauga river). Not sure if it is across the Chauga or not. I'll have to go find it.

Charlie Smith says:
August 11th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

If anyone was wondering where the other third is, it wasn’t “demolished”. It was relocated to and rests on Cobb Bridge road, and is still in use to this day.

Becky says:
July 6th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Was wondering if anyone has a picture of the complete bridge ? Thank You.

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