Writer Thomas Wolfe walked under Helen’s Bridge many times while growing up and included it in a passage in his book, Look Homeward, Angel, but it is perhaps the lore surrounding the bridge that draws the most attention.
The arched bridge is made of quarried stone and was constructed in 1909 to provide access to the nearby Zealandia Mansion. The legend speaks of a woman named Helen who lived at or near the mansion with her beloved daughter. After Helen’s daughter died in a fire, the distraught mother hung herself from the bridge. Her anguished spirit is said to still appear when her name is called, although people who have attempted to raise her spirit have reported that their car will not start when they try to leave.
Know Before You Go
Helen's Bridge crosses over College Road, about 50 feet west of Vance Gap Road, visible from the intersection of College and Beaucatcher. While the mansion is off limits, the bridge can be accessed by the second bend on Windswept Drive. Please be respectful as this is a thin road necessary for residents.