The accompanying photograph of extremely high water on the Savannah River at Clyo at the railroad bridge provided to Historic Effingham Society by Billy Mingledorff intrigued me to find out when this picture was taken. After asking many older citizens, I got my answer from Billy Hanberry of Clyo. He recalled his father saying that the two rivers met during a flood in 1929. He was referring to the Savannah and the Ogeechee rivers and the point at which their waters met was in the southern point of Effingham in Goshen Swamp.
After searching the microfilm of the Herald archives at Historic Effingham’s Museum, I found this accompanying article about the flood. The article from the Springfield Herald also refers to another flood in 1925. Very likely the picture here is either the flood of 1925 or 1929. It is said of the 1929 flood that you “could see from river to river.”
Billy Mingledorff’s father, “Mr. Bill” Mingledorff, was a bridge attendant for the Seaboard Airline Railroad when I was a child, and I recall going there with my parents to see the bridge. He stayed in a little house on the river during his shift and turned the bridge to open it for ships or barges with high masts especially in flooded waters.
The following is copied (errors as they appeared) directly from the Oct. 10, 1929, issue of The Springfield Herald:
Effingham Roads Stand Flood Well
Route 21 Only Outlet from Savannah for Most of this Week
Many Automobiles Stranded in Savannah Directed
Through County for Points in Florida;
Citizens Should Feel Proud that Local Roads Have Held Up so Well
NEED OF PAVED ROAD PROVEN BEYOND DOUBT
After several days of almost impassable roads through Chatham County traffic is resuming some resemblance of the usual volume.
Beginning last Friday the water commenced to flow over Chatham’s portion of the Augusta road and the Coastal Highway and since that time the roads have been inundated at the low points through Chatham County.
Just after leaving the Effingham County line the road has been overflowing with the highway department furnishing a team of mules to pull many autos from the deep water covering the road.
From reports it seems that the Chatham officials were a bit reluctant about sending autoists through Effingham County, why is a mystery.
Monday afternoon at four p.m. the Augusta Road Route 21 was officially closed to traffic from Monteith north through Effingham, however it is known that autos that left Savannah as late as seven p.m. made the trip as far as Springfield with no undue difficulty, by detouring around the flooded concrete on the Chatham road.
Many tourists who evidently ignored the warning about impassable roads through Effingham have been passing through.
Damage to the crops in this section has suffered to some extent, with cotton suffering most. The farmers are busy salvaging what they can from the fields that was unpicked before the flood waters arrived.
Damage to the highways have been practically all repaired and so far as Effingham is concerned the high waters are a thing of the past, with the exception of the Ogeechee River Bridge.
Guyton has been without direct mail service for over a week on account of the Central of Georgia being unable to operate trains over their system. Mail has been being sent to Springfield over the Savannah and Atlanta being the only railroad hereabouts being able to operate over its entire line from Savannah to Camak, there connecting with the Georgia Railroad to Atlanta. The Seaboard Bridge near Clyo over the Savannah River has been with water to a depth of four feet, which is several feet higher than the flood of 1925.
Many foreign cars should be seen passing through for several days due to the other fact that the Coastal Highway will be impassable for an indefinite time.
This article was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have comments, photos or information to share contact her at 754-6681 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.