2017-08-09 / Front Page

Search on for vandals

The southern most covered bridge located on Coheelee Creek near Hilton in Early County has been painted a number of times — the subject of beautiful, framed paintings and the murals in Blakely.

It was painted again Aug. 1, suffering the ugly work of vandals, again. In addition to the graffiti, the vandals also tore down the bridge’s protective gate and tried to set the bridge on fire.

Vandals have built several fires in the bridge. It remains standing today due to multiple application of fire-retardant materials by the county over the years since the 1971 fire.

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1976 as Structure #76000617.

The security gates located at both ends of the bridge were part of a $25,000 restoration last year which included removing spray-painted graffiti and securing the structure to prevent future damage. It also includes the restoration of the adjacent Fannie Askew Williams Park on the bank of Coheelee Creek.

Several vandals were arrested after they defaced the historical structure within 24 hours after completion of the project.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the recent vandalism to call Early County SO investigators at 723-3158.

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