Editor’s Note: As a young teenager I would often ride along with Sally Walls. That’s where I first heard the story of ‘Monkey Woman Bridge.’ I grew up next door to her and was friends with her son Lonnie. Sally would drive over Monkey Women Bridge traveling to visit one of her relatives off Bass Road—just a mile east of the bridge. During those trips she would tell us the legend of ‘Monkey Woman Bridge.’ Back in the late 70’s the old road, One Mile Lane ran alongside Stewarts Creek. The road had large trees overhanging it. It was no doubt a scary place for a young teenager, especially with the old grave yard nearby just a few hundred feet away, north of the bridge. If I recall the headstones date back to the 1700s.


In Rutherford County there are many local stories of ghosts, and haunted landmarks and cemeteries. Much of the local folklore describe spirits, ghosts and strange sounds from unknown sources.


Stories include the ghost of a headless horseman that haunts Stones River Battlefield, the Sam Davis Home and Plantation, a ghost of a headless woman near Stones River United Methodist Church on Old Nashville Hwy (my friend Edith Moore and her sister who lived across the street often saw it), the ghost that haunts Florence Station R&R tracks— especially the areas in and around Stones River Battlefield—just to name a few.

According to a WKRN news article, “thousands of people were killed or lost limbs, got their arms shot off, war is brutal,” said Allen Sircy, the author of “Southern Ghost Stories Murfreesboro: Spirits of Stones River.” 

“There’s a lot of homes off Medical Center Parkway that were used as hospitals. They were bulldozed and businesses were built there, so naturally, the people that work there and operate their businesses have weird stories and things that happen to them,” Sircy said.              

 The ‘Monkey Woman Bridge’ story adds an eerie element of the supernatural. The ghost of a woman who appears to those spending too much time around the once old bridge in Smyrna. The former old bridge which was once located on One Mile Lane between Almaville Road and Baker Road was replaced years ago with a modern concrete bridge sits near the original bridge’s location. The old bridge now sits at Cannonsburgh Village. 

Historic Cannonsburgh Village represents approximately 100 years of early Tennessee life from the 1830s to the 1930s. Within the village is a gristmill, school house, a telephone operator’s house, the University House, the Leeman House, a museum, a caboose, the Wedding Chapel, a doctor’s office, a general store, a blacksmith’s shop, a well, and other points of pioneering interest.

Local resident Joe Walls resides just down the road from where the old bridge once stood. He has heard the story since he was a teenager growing up in Smyrna. “We were always told that a ghost of a woman haunted the bridge,” says Joe. “If you stopped and parked on the bridge at night and said, ‘I don’t believe in the ghost of Monkey Woman it would show up. No one wanted to wait and see what would happen.”

(Sources; WKRN, Daily News Journal)