Miller Covered Bridge, 1908-1963
Completed in 1908, the bridge was the first to span the Tallapoosa River between Dadeville and New Site. It was named in honor of Nora E. Miller, who owned the land upon which the bridge was located. Dadeville builder W. H. Wynn and his son, Will, constructed the bridge at a cost of $13,896. The five large support pilings were fashioned from stones from the riverbank. Local heart pine timber formed the trusses and lattice work. The original roof was made of wooden shingles, later replaced by tin. Instead of nails, 1600 oak pegs held the bridge together. At 858 feet, it was the longest covered bridge in Alabama and one of the longest in the United States.
Heavier automobiles rendered the Miller Bridge obsolete and in 1955 a new bridge made of concrete opened alongside. With disuse, the original structure deteriorated. After the creation of the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in 1959, local preservationists hoped to raise enough funds to restore the old bridge as a pedestrian walkway. These hopes ended on June 23, 1963, when a large portion of the bridge collapsed into the river. The remnants of the bridge were removed soon thereafter. [Horseshoe Bend National Military Park]
The Rock Store, 1890s – 1957
Built in the late 1890s by Wingfield Terrell Cosby, Sr., his wife Drusilla, and their seven children, the Rock Store was a Tallapoosa County institution for more than a half century. Local rocks crudely stacked and joined with concrete comprised the building’s unique façade. From its rafters hung stalks of bananas, lengths of bologna, and cigarette and soft drink advertisements which featured celebrities of the era. Icy cold drinks and hoop cheese, cut by the slice, were perennially popular items among customers. After the use of automobiles became more prevalent, the store owners installed a gravity-fed gasoline pump, a curiosity that was also popular with the children. As nearby Lake Martin grew as a recreational destination, the store’s popularity increased. The Rock Store was an unmistakable landmark and a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It closed in 1957 due to the deaths of the two last proprietors, Sam and Julius Cosby. The building continues to be used for other purposes; ownership remains in the Cosby family. [Corner of Alabama 49 South and Highway 50]
William Carl Roeck, 1836-1920
Born and educated in Baden, Germany, and educated as a horticulturist, William Carl Roeck arrived in America in 1854 at the age of eighteen and engaged in extensive travels. He later enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving four years in the Second Tennessee Infantry, where he was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga. At war’s end, he settled in Dadeville, Alabama. In 1874, he married Catherine Elizabeth Sanford. They had two children: Katie (b. 1875), who married A.L. Temples, and Frederick William (b. 1877), who died at the age of fourteen. Local politics dominated much of Roeck’s postwar life. He was elected as a Tallapoosa County Commissioner in 1884 and soon thereafter was appointed circuit clerk by Gov. Edward A. O’Neal. He later received two separate appointments as probate clerk and served again as circuit clerk. Roeck was Master of Dadeville Lodge, No. 71, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and High Priest of Dadeville Chapter, No. 56, Royal Arch Masons, and a member of the Knights of Honor. Listed among the inductees of “Notable Men of Alabama,” he died on October 26, 1920. [3295 Highway 49 South, Dadeville]