The bridge was constructed in 1899 over Little Wills Creek near Reece City at the direction of Etowah County Commissioner Jesse Gilliand. Area merchants donated materials and men from surrounding communities volunteered their labor. The original 40-foot span between supports was accomplished with a Town lattice truss, a design patented by Ithiel Town of Connecticut in 1820.
The bridge was bypassed with the completion of Reeceville Road (Alabama State Highway 211). When I-59 was projected in the mid-1960s, then-owner H. Ross Gilliland donated it to the city for removal to Noccalula Falls. It was dismantled and reconstructed over a pond near the park's botanical gardens. Now supported by a simpler stringer truss frame, the bridge is open only to pedestrians. The deteriorating metal roof was replaced with wood shingles.
Along with William Clayton's log-built blacksmith shop and several other historic structures, the bridge is a centerpiece of a "pioneer homestead" in the park which opened for Easter 1968. The homestead was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1974.
- Prince, A. G. (1981) Alabama's Covered Bridges: Past and Present. revised edition. Ensley: Best Printing Service
- Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge at dalejtravis.com