The Lyndon Bridge Timeline

The following is a condensed version of the Lyndon Bridge and the grassroot efforts to build, maintain, and preserve it. For the entire story, we encourage you to visit the Lyndon Historical Society website or visit them during their operating hours.

  • Construction of the Lyndon Bridge (circa 1894)

  • The Lyndon Bridge Today

    The Lyndon Bridge Today

  • 1876

    The village of Lyndon petitions the Whiteside County Board to build a bridge across the Rock River. The petition is denied.
  • 1886

    Construction of a bridge with the aid of horses is attempted. Hoped-for sources of revenue do not materialize and construction is halted.
  • 1891

    A special meeting of the Lyndon town council on December 16, 1891, concerns a petition directed to the supervisor of the township asking him to call a special election. The special election calls for a vote of to collect $10,000 from the Lyndon Township residents to finish the construction of the bridge. Prophetstown Township refuses “…to enter into any joint contract…to build or maintain such said bridge…”.
  • 1892

    A special election is held on January 1892. The vote to build a bridge passes by a 181 – 45 margin. The Lyndon Bridge Committee receives eight bids for the construction in Marc. Bids range from $16,400 to $19,127. Keefer & Wyncoop’s bid of $16,400 is accepted. The chosen architectural style is a Parker Pratt Through Truss. Prophetstown Township agrees to share bridge construction costs with Lyndon Township in August 1892.
  • 1894

    The construction of the bridge is completed in late 1894 for a total cost of $19,606. The village of Lyndon pays one-half of the expenses. Whiteside County is liable for one-half of the expenses.
  • 1906

    Whiteside County officials make alterations to the bridge. Originally built to support wagon traffic, automobiles and tractors necessitate such improvements. Original wood stringers are replaced with 7 – inch steel I-beams. A new wood deck is laid. Steel lattice rails are added.
  • 1912 - 1979

    Various repairs and improvements are made to the bridge.
  • 1980

    The Lyndon Bridge is deemed unsafe by the Whiteside County Engineers. On June 30, 1980 the Lyndon Bridge is closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Iron beams are welded across the bridge. The bridge sits unattended for the next 15 years.
  • 1995

    The Whiteside County Highway Department decides to demolish the Lyndon Bridge. A grass-roots effort of Lyndon residents organizes a “Save Our Bridge” campaign.
  • 1996 - 2002

    A petition signed by 300 Lyndon residents (population 600) to save the Lyndon Bridge is submitted to the Lyndon Village Board. The board votes to annex the Lyndon Bridge to village, clearing the path for further actions to save the bridge. The bridge is later inspected and deemed "safe" for pedestrian use only. A $35,000 grant request is approved dedicated to bridge repairs and enhancements.
  • 2003

    Fred Steele spearheads the application to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C “Design and Construction”. The application was approved on May 9, 2003. Block planters, paving, park shelter, benches, and swing installed to further promote visitors to the bridge.
  • 2013

    The Lyndon Bridge becomes part of the Rock River Trail Initiative to further promote outdoor recreation along the Rock River.
  • The Lyndon Bridge Today

    The Lyndon Bridge continues to be the heart and soul of the Village of Lyndon and surrounding areas. Weddings, bike rides, cookouts, or a solemn walk across the bridge remind us of a place and time when life was simpler. The river rolls on...

Come See It

We encourage everyone to come and visit a piece of history right here in Lyndon, IL.

When you walk along the bridge planks, you will see placards with messages on them.  These are bridge planks that were donated by various peoples from different walks of life.  Enjoy reading them as you stroll across the Rock River. If you would like to purchase a plank then please consider a donation.


Your cart is currently empty.

Website Feedback or SuggestionsSuggestions, Comments, Errors, Typos, or Other

FAQ's for Bridge Donations

How many planks are needed?

We are in constant need of bridge planks.  The weather deteriorates the wood rapidly.  In addition, many planks have not been replaced in a long time and are in need of repair.

When will my placard arrive for my Personalized Plank Donation?

If you purchased a Personalized Bridge Plank, the placard will arrive in 4-8 weeks and depending on volunteer and public work efforts, it may take longer to get the new bridge plank installed.  At any rate, you will be notified when your bridge plank and placard is all set!

Below is an example of what it might look like when it's attached to the bridge plank.

I donated to the Crowdfunded Planks.  How does this work?

Currently each bridge plank costs $200 (and rising).  Crowdfunding allows anyone who has a minimum of $15 to be a part of restoring the Lyndon Bridge.  For every $200 reached, a new bridge plank and placard will be generated.  You will see the placard on the bridge notated as "Crowdfunded."  In addition, any comments you put in during your donation will be displayed on our website for all to see.  This is a fun way to share your Lyndon Bridge experience with the world.  Then when you walk the bridge and see a crowdfunded plank, you will know this was one that you have helped to create!

Cash Donation. I don't want to use the website to make my donation.  Can I still pay cash?

Absolutely.  You can either stop into the Village Hall with your cash donation, or you can download this form, fill it out and either mail it or stop into the Village Hall to drop it off.

Is my donation secure?

Yes.  We use the PayPal credit card gateway to execute our transactions on this website.  In addition, the site is 256 bit encrypted so you can feel safe and secure with your donation.

Can I claim this donation on my taxes?

Yes, but we also recommend checking with your tax advisor.

Lyndon Bridge Plank Donors


Thank you to all Donors!

The Hunters

This Must Be the Place
Tim, Amy, Jack, and James


“Rocky” the Wolfdog
Walked this bridge every day.

Darla Rangel

Brian Brooks

Carol Ahrens

In memory of Irene Ahrens who traveled this bridge many times with her children.

Curt Sawyer

In loving memory of Roland and Verna Sawyer. - Curt & Michelle

Billie Cowan

In Loving Memory of
Marvin D. Large
“PaPa 2”
July 18, 1936 - Feb. 3, 2019

Tyler Scott

What a great place to visit, rich history