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CHASING SHADOWS: 85 years ago, the Apalachicola River was bridged

The Apalachicola Times

The original John Gorrie Bridge that connects Apalachicola with Eastpoint was built for $1.5 million in 1935, replacing a ferry service between the two towns. It included a rotating section to allow passage of ships with high masts. A replacement bridge was built in 1988.

The front cover of the Souvenir Booklet for the 1935 opening of the John Gorrie Bridge.
Beneath this photo reads "Whether your taste runs to landing the king of all sporting fish, the Silver Tarpon, speed boat racing or just lolling on lovely beaches, they are all here - Tarpon fishing around Apalachicola to Panama City is unsurpassed in America. Here's a day's catch for two."
A view of the old ferries and a close-up view of the new concrete approaches.
This photo tells how the Gorrie Bridge was 6.25 milles long, five miles from shore to shore, with nearly three miles of trestles, built at a cost of $1.3 million.
The views of Apalachicola included, clockwise from top left, the Gibson Hotel; Chapman High School; the oyster shell pile; and the former Franklin County Courthouse, no longer standing.
The Souvenir Booklet offered photos of points of interest all along the Gulf Sceni Highway. These included State Highway 10 from Tallhassee to Thomasville, Georgia; Wakulla Springs; Apalachicola's "Famous Oyster and Shrimp Grounds;" Port St. Joseph; The "Big Paper Mills at Panama City;" Valparaiso and Fort Walton; and "The Magnificent Drives and Beaches" that extend for miles.

On Nov. 11, 1935, Apalachicola hosted an opening celebration, one day after the new bridge had opened for traffic. The era of the ferries was over.