Construction of the Lyndon Bridge (circa 1894)
The Lyndon Bridge Today
1876The village of Lyndon petitions the Whiteside County Board to build a bridge across the Rock River. The petition is denied.
1886Construction of a bridge with the aid of horses is attempted. Hoped-for sources of revenue do not materialize and construction is halted.
1891A 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…”.
1892A 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.
1894The 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.
1906Whiteside 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 - 1979Various repairs and improvements are made to the bridge.
1980The 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.
1995The Whiteside County Highway Department decides to demolish the Lyndon Bridge. A grass-roots effort of Lyndon residents organizes a “Save Our Bridge” campaign.
1996 - 2002A 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.
2003Fred 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.
2013The Lyndon Bridge becomes part of the Rock River Trail Initiative to further promote outdoor recreation along the Rock River.
The Lyndon Bridge TodayThe 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.