Wright presents lecture on Bartow’s early bridges, ferries Thursday

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Bartow’s bygone ferries and bridges will be the topic of conversation when historian Richard Wright takes the stage at the Bartow History Museum on Thursday evening.According to the BHM news release, Wright will “discuss the early ferries and first bridges established in the area and how our geography determined Cartersville’s location and brought a diverse group of settlers to contribute to Bartow County’s originality.“... Richard Wright is a long time resident of Lost Town, GA (Pine Log Mountain). He has extensively researched the history of the Etowah Valley for the last 15 years. His passion includes identifying relics found locally relating to the antebellum iron industry.”Starting at 7 p.m., Wright’s presentation at the downtown Cartersville museum will be free for BHM members and included in regular admission to the venue for nonmembers.“I will center [my] talk on Mays ferry, the ferry that once was where [Interstate] 75 crosses the Etowah today, and a story of the Southern Internal Improvement Movement that led to the founding of Atlanta, Chattanooga, Rome and, of course, Cartersville,” Wright said. “I’ve been fortunate to find several sources of primary documentation that tell this story, [such as the] ‘Farish Carter Papers’ at UNC Chapel Hill and the Magruder Galt Historical newspaper collection at the Atlanta History Center.”Attendees also will be encouraged to tour the museum’s “Bridges of Bartow County” exhibit, which will be displayed through March 12.“In the last year or so, we’ve seen a lot of interest in bridges around the county, particularly those that are in danger of being lost to time,” BHM Director Trey Gaines told The Daily Tribune News prior to the exhibit’s opening in late October. “So we knew we had some historic structures around the county, historic bridges. We thought it was a good idea to sort of highlight some of those, talk about their stories, their history and how they play into our history.“The exhibit covers probably 10 or more bridges from Bartow County. Some of them are no longer here. Others are no longer in use, and then some are still in use today. So it’s a mixture of different bridges from the county. We have photographs of those bridges. We have texts about those that tell you when they were built, why they were built, where they were built, those kinds of things. Then we also have a section on some of the tools that were used to build bridges.”Formed in 1987, BHM’s gift shop, multi-purpose room, and permanent and temporary exhibits have been housed in the 1869 Courthouse — 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, under the Church Street bridge — since December 2010. Divided into six galleries, the permanent exhibits include “A Sense of Place,” “Bartow Beginnings,” “Community Champions,” “People at Work,” “The Coming War” and “Toward New Horizons.”Serving as Bartow’s courthouse from 1869 to 1902, the museum’s two-story brick building was utilized for a variety of purposes in the 1900s, some of which included a roller skating rink, furniture store and warehouse. Sitting vacant since the 1980s, the structure was acquired by the city of Cartersville in 1995 and renovated with $1.7 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.For more information about the BHM and its exhibits and programs, call 770-382-3818 or visit http://bartowhistorymuseum.org.