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Then and Now: Churchill Bridge
Posted on Jun 18th, 2020
Image Courtesy of the Brazoria County Historical Museum
In the mid-1800’s, a ferry, owned by Lewis T. Bennett, was used to transport travelers across the San Bernard. The site was referred to as the Churchill Ferry because of the previous landowner Andrew S. Churchill. The ferry was later replaced about a mile upriver by a hand-operated drawbridge which is pictured above in this 1920's photo.
Photo Linda Wright
The Churchill Bridge, also referred to as the Sportsman Span, was built in 1958 and replaced the older drawbridge. It has a vertical clearance of 43’ above mean high tide.
Additional history from the HANDBOOK OF TEXAS ONLINE
CHURCHILL BRIDGE, TEXAS. Churchill Bridge is a community on the San Bernard River sixteen miles southwest of Angleton in southwestern Brazoria County. It was known as Bennett's Ferry when, on September 1, 1875, Lewis T. Bennett bought a ferry and 200 acres with improvements on the San Bernard River from Andrew S. Churchill, who had arrived in the county before March 1836.
A local post office was established in February 1877, with Bennett as postmaster, but was discontinued by September. In 1886 Bennett's descendents sold some of the land, and the site came to be known as Churchill Place.
According to some sources, it is likely that the post office was known as Bennett's Ferry, but the place was more often referred to as Churchill Ferry or Churchill Bridge. The ferry was replaced by a hand-operated drawbridge and then later by a modern bridge known as Sportsman Span, roughly a mile upriver from the original location. In the 1930s the community had scattered dwellings and several other buildings.
Between 1943 and 1945 the town recorded a population of forty and two businesses. In 1988 the county highway map showed two businesses at the site and a development, Las Playas, nearby.