Horace King & the Cheraw Bridge at Riverside Park | Olde English District

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Horace King & the Cheraw Bridge at Riverside Park

300 NE Church St.
Cheraw, SC 29520
Phone:
(843) 537-7681 or (888) 537-0014

Horace King was born a slave in Cheraw around 1807. He was sold to the Godwin family in 1829. Under the guidance of John Godwin and by working with his bridge building company, Horace soon gained the knowledge and experience that would make him one of the most respected engineers in the South. After his release from slavery in 1846, King formed his own construction company. Prior to the Civil War, he built bridges in Georgia and Alabama. During the war, he built several different types of bridges for the Confederacy. In the post war era, the prosperous King Brothers Bridge Company rebuilt bridges that were destroyed during the conflict. Most of the bridges built by Horace King are gone today. A marker over the Pee Dee River in Cheraw discusses the Ithiel Town bridge where King learned his engineering skills. A remnant of the bridge is on display at the Lyceum Museum (Town Green, Market Street). The park was the site of Cheraw's first ferries, bridges and steamboat landing. It was the site of the skirmish for the Pee Dee River bridge, gunboat Pee Dee engagement, and the ravine holding gunpowder whose accidental explosion killed several Union soldiers and destroyed Cheraw's business district. The museum is opened upon request at the Cheraw Chamber of Commerce. For tours, contact the Cheraw Visitors Bureau.