I have been asked why I wanted to write a blog about the Hatchie River.
I so enjoy learning about this amazing area so rich in history. I have so many unanswered questions about the area but I am lucky to have a background as a researcher and private investigator.
A Mayor of West Tennessee once said
“English, you are just to nosey for your own good it will get it you in trouble someday.”
So far I have not gotten in trouble asking questions about history.
Oh, yea the Mayor that called me nosey is no longer Mayor and I am still asking questions and finding answers. Learning the answers and history have had good and bad  results but we have to learn from the facts history is history.

In the Western part of Madison Co.on the banks of Hatchie River is Hatchie Station.
On the Hatchie River there were two narrow spots one was Hatchie Station and the other was Estanaula .  (Estanaula we will cover later)

In 1818 at Hatchie Station the Pirtle family set up a ferry service it cost a nickel per person and a dime for horse and wagon. The ferry would leave Madison Co. and go across to Haywood Co. close to the Hillville Community.
There were also barges and Steam boats using the landing. Farmers would bring their  cotton bales to be shipped to Memphis. If they went by land it could take several days boats were so much faster and safer.
In 1928 the construction of a steel framed bridge with a wooden floor connected Madison Co and Haywood Co. Mr Replogal was the contractor on this project. The steel was shipped by rail from Memphis the wood was milled at the sawmill located near Hatchie Station. The first travelers crossed the new bridge in 1930. Then the bridge had gotten in such disrepair it was closed in 1945 by then highway 138 was open.
In 2010 when I was researching the bridge I had the honor of meeting Mr. Charlie Luke.
Mr Charlie Luke of Hatchie Station community told me that he and his wife were the last ones to cross the bridge in 1945.He had to get out of his car and move boards to finish the trip. Then in 1946 the call went out,the men of the community responded and stripped the remaining “good boards” off the bridge to fill in a low spot on Hwy 138. The reason they did this was so Mr. William Mullen could get his wife to the hospital in Jackson for the birth of his son Bill.

The bridge has been standing guard over the Hatchie River ever since waiting to be brought back to life..

What a wonderful opportunity it would be if we could bring this grand lady back .

Since according to Mr Billy King the bridge belongs to Haywood Co. not Madison Co. What if the bridge was “re-boarded” and on the Haywood Co side they created a small park with benches, tables and a 4 mile hiking trail to Estanaula landing. This would make a destination spot for tourist and locals to enjoy the sites and sounds of the Hatchie River. Just imagine sitting on a bench daydreaming about what was at this spot years ago..Maybe someone could write a grant to get money for this project.

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