Tag Archives: Calvin John Ward

Roane County’s Only Toll Bridge

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

The bridge on Highway 58 crossing the Tennessee River which was torn down in 2004, was Roane County’s only toll bridge in its history. It was built between 1928 and 1931 for a cost of $306,683.96 as part of the Federal funding for toll bridges. A private ferry had operated at that location. The bridge had been named after Calvin John Ward, from Morristown, who was the most decorated WWI veteran with twelve awards (one of which was the Congressional Medal of Honor). Nearby was the toll collector’s house. The bridge was advertised as being open 24 hours a day and the cost to cross the bridge was $0.50. In 1939, the toll was removed, and it became a free bridge. In preparation for Watts Bar Dam, the bridge was raised and lengthened. The toll collector’s house was relocated. It is currently located across from Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston and until recently was the home of the late Bobby Allen. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), it is only one of two known toll collector’s houses still standing in Tennessee.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, June 2014.