Old Highway 90 Bridge
One of my favorite places to explore in Florida is along the Suwannee River with many wilderness areas and historical sites to experience there. The area just has that “old Florida” feel to it. On this visit I went to check out an abandoned bridge that crosses over the river. It was part of the old Highway 90 at one time and the bridge was built around 1925. I read that it was also known as the Hillman Bridge or Ellaville Bridge over the years. The bridge is nearly a thousand feet across and as you walk out onto the bridge you experience amazing views of the Suwannee River.
Highway 90 Bridge Construction 1920’s
The area was once part of the ghost town of Ellaville back in the 1800’s. There is a park next to the bridge with a historical marker describing some of the history about the town. Behind the parking lot and down under the bridge you can find some trails to hike with more scenic views and even more history that can be discovered if you look good enough. The Hillman Bridge was abandoned sometime in the 1980’s when the modern Route 90 bridge was built next to it. Today this old bridge still stands as a relic and reminder of history, hopefully it will remain there for many years to come.
Abandoned Highway 90 Bridge
Bridge Hunter – Hillman Bridge
Ellaville Ghost Town
While exploring in Twin Rivers State Forest located in Madison County, I found this old cemetery that dates back to the late 1800’s. The cemetery is known as The Stroud Cemetery and there are seventeen listed burials here.
So far the information I have learned is that the Strouds were early settlers in Madison County. The cemetery though contains several family names and it is possible that these families also lived in the area. One name in particular is Sullivan and I found a family relative that told me the Sullivans married into the Stroud family. There was a Stroud-Sullivan homestead as well.
Like other older cemeteries around Florida this one has several infant graves which is always sad to see. You have to understand that life back in those times was harder and many children didn’t survive. I learned that in many cases children wouldn’t even be given a name until they made it past of the age of two. Which is why at some of these gravesites you may see unmarked graves that just read “Infant”. I am not sure of the exact reasons but most likely may have been from disease or sickness.
Today the cemetery seems maintained to a certain degree, sadly many of the tombstones are eroding away or have been damaged. There is a fence and nice sign at the entrance and is a nice reminder of history to see in this forest.
Stroud Cemetery in Twin Rivers State Forest
Stroud Homestead Site in Twin Rivers State Forest
Twin Rivers State Forest
Madison County History Resources
Mamie Stroud Sullivan
Homestead Site Remains