Skip to comments.Witnesses recall car crash that destroyed Augusta's 'Haunted Pillar'
Posted on 12/19/2016 5:18:06 AM PST by servo1969
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta's famous Haunted Pillar on the corner of Broad Street and Fifth Street has a legend for being cursed. But the site is much less eerie after a car crash brings the 10-foot tower crumbling down Sunday morning.
The popular tourist attraction, known for its urban legend and long history near Downtown Augusta, is actually being credited for possibly saving a life.
"It didn't really kick in until I talked to the officer," says an awestruck Cory Tyler. "After that, I realized it was the Haunted Pillar."
A haunting piece of Augusta history is not looking so scary anymore. The famous Haunted Pillar is now nothing more than a pile of bricks after a Sunday morning car crash brings it down.
The pillar pre-dates the Civil War and was part of Augusta's Lower Market before a fire destroyed it in 1828. According to a historic plaque placed nearby, the pillar was part of a rebuilt structure used as the city's center for agriculture and livestock trade.
The plaque states a "freakish" cyclone destroyed the structure in 1878, while one single pillar remained. The locals moved that column to its place at the corner of 5th and Broad Street where it's stood for more than a century.
The plaque also tells of what made the pillar famous: an urban legend that anyone who touched the pillar would meet their death. "According to tradition," the plaque states, "a wandering 'exhorter' predicted that anyone who pulled down the pillar would be struck dead by lightning."
Several stories have been spread over the years of people trying to bring down the pillar but passed away before getting their chance.
(Excerpt) Read more at wrdw.com ...
So will one or both die from a lightening strike within their lifetime? Oh the haunted mystery continues.
A wreck late Saturday or early Sunday was to blame.
But it wasnt the first time the pillar has been knocked down, just the latest. And sorry to break the spell its not really haunted.
The pillar is supposed to be all that was left standing when a storm destroyed the old market in 1878. Anyone who touches it is supposed to have bad luck possibly to the point of death.
But that story was made up by a press agent hired by the city in the 1930s to help lure tourists.
In 1935, The Chronicle reported, an automobile hit it and reduced it to a pile of brick and cement. The driver was not injured; the pillar was rebuilt.
On a Friday the 13th in 1958, the newspaper said, the column was toppled when an oversized bale of cotton fell from a passing truck. The driver was not injured.
Again, it was refurbished.
Maybe thats its curse bad driving, The Chronicles Bill Kirby wrote in an installment of The Way We Were in February.
No one with city government was available to answer the rebuilding question Sunday, and the Richmond County Sheriffs Office had no report on the wreck.
But Derrick Green, who works just up Broad Street at Café 209, saw it all.
It was a small car and it ran dead into it, he said Sunday, relating his eyewitness account to about a half-dozen people who came to see damage.
I saw it on Facebook, said Faye Harris.
I was just riding by and saw it and had to stop, said another woman.
Green said the small car collided with a large truck might have been a beer truck and kind of bounced into the pillar, barely missing a much larger utility pole.
Missing that pole, man, that was some supernatural stuff, Green said.
He said people had been coming by all day Sunday, touching the pillar, telling each other the haunted story, even taking pieces of it.
As he talked, a man wearing a red University of Georgia hat picked up a brick and announced he planned to keep it.
Dont do that, a woman said.
Why not? he asked.
Because its historic, she replied.
He took it anyway and the woman said, Thats a shame, as he walked away.
When it’s rebuilt be sure it’s shorter and the corners are chamfered. Put a small spike on top and claim that it makes the pillar just as tall as it was.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
That’s the way they do it in NYC.
Should put a spooky bollard in front of the haunted pillar.
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