Just to the west of Marshall, hidden away under modern day Rt-40, is one of the few remaining, original stone arch bridges used by the National Historic Road. This piece of early American transportation history is hard to see when traveling through the area, because you drive right over the top of it. There is a historical marker sign right next to the guard rail on the bridge with an arrow pointing to a turn off where one can view the arch.

Being of the non-mortar, stacked stone construction typical of the day, the entire arch is still supported by the ‘keystone’ placed at the center when it was constructed in 1834. In fact, this bridge could be the oldest remaining bridge in Illinois. The next time you’re in the Marshall area, take a little detour, stop, walk over to and put your hands on what was surely a road traveled by most every early visitor to Illinois…….

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-Ed Baumgarten

 

 

The Keystone that holds it all together