Joan Harrison is looking for a couple who want to build a bridge of love between two people and two states - exactly as it was done 80 years ago at the Sand Bar Ferry bridge.
The bridge, one of the first spans connecting Augusta and Beech Island, S.C., reputedly was the site of a marriage between a man from Georgia and a woman from South Carolina when the bridge was dedicated July 8, 1924.
"We were talking about the wedding on the bridge and got really excited about the idea," said Harrison, a volunteer organizer of the Beech Island Historical Society's Heritage Day celebration, set for May 22. "It represented the uniting of the two states, and we want to commemorate that. Now we're looking for just the right couple."
The historical society will pay for the Victorian-style wedding, which will have floral arrangements, clothing from the 1920s and a vintage automobile. The wedding will be part of the annual Heritage Day being held at the Granville Plantation, which was built in 1840 by Alfred N. Dicks. It is off Pine Log Road.
Although the 1924 steel-and-concrete bridge no longer exists, Augusta artist Cole Phail is re-creating the 1920s skyline of Augusta and Beech Island as it would have looked from the bridge. The painting will be the backdrop for the wedding ceremony and will be placed in the museum after the event, Harrison said.
There also will be a re-enactment of duels that were fought near the Sand Bar Ferry on the South Carolina side of the river, she said. According to The Augusta Chronicle in 1924, men would "settle their differences permanently by a quick trigger-finger and accurate aim" beneath the trees near the ferry.
Money raised at this year's Heritage Day will help preserve a barn that is behind the museum. It was built in the early 1900s of handmade bricks. Harrison said she hopes to use the barn as a place to house antique farm equipment for the historical society.
The society operates the museum, which has pottery, glass and tools found in the Beech Island area dating to the early 1700s.
"I want to preserve this history for my grandchildren," said Harrison, who grew up in Beech Island. "So much of this is not talked about in schools anymore. These students will lose sight of their backgrounds unless there are some people who are willing to preserve it."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Beech Island Historical Society meeting
WHEN: 7 p.m. third Tuesday of every month
WHERE: Beech Island Historical Society Visitors and History Center, 144 Old Jackson Highway, Beech Island
COST: Free for meeting; annual society membership $25 per family, $20 per person
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