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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]

Tallapoosa County High School1910-1949
 
A 1907 act of the Alabama Legislature called for the construction of a new public high school in each county. Officials selected Dadeville as the location of Tallapoosa County High School. Residents sought private funds and used a bond issue to raise the money required to purchase this five-acre Lafayette Street lot from brothers W. S. and T. S. Herren, and to build the school. 
 
Completed in September 1910, the original school consisted of six classrooms and an auditorium. It enrolled fifty-five students – twenty-nine females and twenty-six males – in grades eight through twelve. Subjects taught were science, mathematics, history, art, music, typing and stenography, and languages including English, Latin, French, and German. The school colors were black and gold. Out-of-town pupils boarded with Dadeville families for a nominal fee. An expansion in 1926 added classrooms to accommodate instruction in seventh grade.
 
Tallapoosa County High School closed at the end of the 1948-49 school year. Thereafter, students attended the combined Dadeville Schools. 
[East Lafayette Street, Dadeville] 

Tallapoosa County Nursery (1927-1984), "Ponder's Nursery"

On this site once operated the Tallapoosa County Nursery, owned by businessman William “Mr. Will” Bedford Ponder (1869-1938) and his descendants. Already the proprietor of a country store, gristmill, blacksmith shop, and a farm, Ponder decided to cultivate a nursery after his eldest son, Frank, enrolled in the horticultural school at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). William Ponder ran the business with his three youngest sons, Fletcher, Glenn, and Dwight. Within a few years, the farm was full ofmarket- able flowering plants. In 1927, they opened the Tallapoosa County Nursery, known locally as “Ponder’s Nursery.”

Fletcher, Glenn, and Dwight Ponder ran the business after the death of their father. The brothers expanded the number of cultivated acres, installed an irrigation system, built more greenhouses, and hired additional workers. By the late 1960s, the operation had grown to more than 250 acres, making it one of the largest nurseries in the region at the time.

Between 1969 and 1981, the three Ponder brothers died. There- after, ownership of a downsized Tallapoosa County Nursery transi- tioned to a new generation of William Bedford Ponder’s descendants. Having grown up in the family business, the new owners decided to pursue different paths. Tallapoosa County Nursery closed in the spring of 1984.

[Highway 50, Dadeville]

 

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]

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