In the earliest of times the rock shoal upstream of the bridge was used as a ford until a flat bridge was built across Beaverdam Creek. In Monday, August 24, 1908 starting at 7:00 p.m., twenty inches of rain fell during the next twenty-four hours. This freshet washed out the bridge and local residents again used the ford to cross.
Charles Irwin Willis (1878-1966) built the current 35 feet long by 12 feet wide bridge on land owned by Alexander Lafayette Campbell (1836-1920). Willis let the truss ends follow the natural lay of the land and then built the rest of the bridge to fit; therefore, the bridge is not square or plumb.
The bridge has a four Howe truss on each side (criss-crossing braces with vertical tie rods called Kingposts). William Howe from Spencer, Massachusetts, patented his new truss design in 1840 and it was commonly used for railroad bridges. The truss absorbs and transfers a passing vehicle's weight to the rock abutments on each end of the bridge.
The bridge was restored in 1964 with the cooperation of the Crescent Community Club and again in 1990 by Greenville County. In 1951 Pleasant Hill Road was rerouted around the bridge and in 1984 Campbell's Covered Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic.
Downstream from the bridge Mr. Campbell operated a corn grist mill. In 1938 Joseph Daniel Smith built a new corn grist mill at the same site. He built a dam on the rock shoal about 75 feet upstream of the bridge, drilling into the rock to stabilize the dam structure. The dam created a mill pond and water was carried from the pond to the mill in a face fashioned from 30 gallon steel barrels that passed through the bridge abutment. Originally, the mill was powered by an overshot waterwheel and later by a side shot turbine wheel with a vertical shaft. The mill was closed in the 1950s. The foundations of the mill and the Smith House (1938) are visible downstream of the bridge.
In 1979 E.O. Productions filmed a scene here for the movie, A Day of Judgement. The film was set in the early 1900s and included a scene of an avenging angel riding a horse out of the bridge to take justice. The bridge is often photographed and featured in Upstate South Carolina Tourism guides.