Friday, February 22, 2008

Bellamy Bridge, Part Two

This is part two of a continuing series on the true story behind Jackson County's famed legend of the "Ghost of Bellamy Bridge." If you would like to read part one first, just scroll down the page.
As I explained in my last post, the legend of Bellamy Bridge is certainly colorful, but is it true?
The story first began to appear in local newspapers roughly 100 years ago, indicating that it was well known by the beginning of the 20th century. Interviews with senior residents of the area confirm this.
Fortunately, the events related in the legend involved people who were prominent and well-known in their day. As a result, their true stories can still be traced.
Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy grew up in North Carolina and attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. His brother, Dr. Edward C. Bellamy, was also a physician and the two men were close during their youth.
The Bellamy family was prominent in North Carolina at this time and closely associated with another prominent clan, the Croom family. Dr. Edward Bellamy fell in love with Ann Croom, the daughter of Gen. William Croom, and the two were married in North Carolina during the early 1830s. Not long after, Dr. Samuel Bellamy began to court Ann's sister, Elizabeth "Betsy" Bellamy. At this point, the story begins to diverge from the legend.
Newspaper records confirm that Samuel and Elizabeth Bellamy were married in North Carolina on July 15, 1834, three years before the date of the supposed Florida wedding (and tragic reception).
On the surface the discovery of proof that Samuel and Elizabeth were married in North Carolina three years before legend holds she died on her wedding day in Florida might seem to disprove the legend of the ghost of Bellamy Bridge, but true history reveals there is much more to the story.
I'll continue this fascinating true story in the next post. Until then, if you would like to read more and see an actual photo of the "ghost" of Bellamy Bridge, please click here.
The complete story can be read in my book, Two Egg, Florida: A Collection of Ghost Stories, Legends and Unusual Facts, now available through,, or for order through your favorite bookstore. It can also be purchased in downtown Marianna at Chipola River Book and Tea (on Lafayette Street across from the Battle of Marianna monument).

No comments: