Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in, sometimes briefly.

Dale Neely Bridge

daleneely daleneelyback

This card took me a couple of hours to sort out.  I first learned that this bridge, over Watauga Lake, has been known as Butler Memorial Bridge since before 1960 (the earliest topo map I could find).  However, when the picture of this bridge was taken, in 1949 probably* the bridge was called the Dale Neely Bridge, named for the Dale Neely Branch near its southern abutment.  Note that the card refers to it as “Dale-Neely”, as if it were named for two people.  That’s not uncommon.  Asheville Post Card Company called the library in Johnson City the “Mayne-Williams” library.

Watauga Dam was completed in 1948 and this bridge was constructed in 1948.  “Dale Neely” was either a provisional name, or possibly the name of the lower bridge that this one replaced, which was later quietly brushed aside to provide a memorial for the town of Butler, lo, these many years beneath the waters of the lake.   Everything you would ever want to know about this bridge is here.

*The card was printed by Curt Teich in Chicago.  Its inventory number is OC-H449. “OC” indicates 1950 as the year of its printing.

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2 thoughts on “Dale Neely Bridge

  1. Marcello Bruzzano on said:

    I think the explanation you gave is a mistake.The bridge was constructed on the land of Dale Mc Neal or as he was called Dale Neely
    He was my wife’s grandfather.
    In the Butler Museus you can find the topographical map of the area before the Watagua Dam was built

    • I’d say you have a much better knowledge of this bridge than I do. I was going on some rather confusing research. Thank you for correcting this entry! You can also find topos of the area at oldmapsonline.com.
      It’s a fascinating website.

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