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...