Kinnickinnick Stone Bridge

Double Stone Arch Bridge over Kinnickinnick Creek
Roscoe, Winnebago County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Kinnickinnick Stone Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Roscoe Township
Length 53 Feet Total, 24 Foot Arches
Width 1 Track, 2 Trail Lanes
Total Structure Height 35 Feet
Superstructure Type Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1882
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
C&NW Bridge Number 45
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date June 2014
In 1848, the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad made its maiden run around Chicago, as was advocated by William B Ogden.

The line continued to push west and north. One line would go towards Galena (near Dubuque, Iowa) and the other would head north. It reached Elgin in 1850 and Belvidere by 1852.

At Belvidere, the lines split. By 1853, the railroad heading north from Belvidere hit Beloit by 1853, where it connected to the Beloit & Madison, which was building towards Madison.

Although the Galena & Chicago Union Railway was originally despised, it eventually became hailed as a great acheievement.

By 1864, the Chicago & Northwestern Railway decided to purchase the line. By this time, the Galena & Chicago had purchased the Beloit and Madison.

The C&NW was a young railroad, with a number of lines around the Rock and Fox Valleys.

The line had its access cut to Belvidere in 1937, and ended at a line that connected Harvard to Rockford in Caledonia.

By 1977, the line dead ended near the Wisconsin/Illinois State Line after the C&NW abandoned the line from Evansville to Beloit.

By 1988, the Chicago & Northwestern would proceed to cut the line from Roscoe to Caledonia. The last spur from South Beloit to Roscoe came under Union Pacific control after they purchased the C&NW in 1995.

The Union Pacific now has access to Beloit via a former Milwaukee Road line from Clinton. Today, almost none of the line between Beloit and Belvidere remains.

From Caledonia to Roscoe, it is the Stone Bridge Trail, appropriately named for a stone arch in Roscoe.

This bridge is a very historic structure for the area of Northern Winnebago County, as well as Roscoe and the Beloit area, crossing Kinnickinnick Creek.
Built in 1882, the bridge uses a standard double arch design. This design has been seen all over the C&NW system, mostly built between 1870 and 1910.
During redevelopment of the area, the bridge was almost demolished to be turned into a housing development. Thanks to the hard work of a few Roscoe individuals, this bridge was preserved for generations to come.
Since then, the bridge has become a famous stone arch in the area, in one of the few remaining natural prairie habitats in Illinois.
The trail on which the bridge lies is appropriately named the Stone Bridge Trail, which also contains numerous smaller arches.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in excellent condition. It was posted on the National Register of Historic Places.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the common design but excellent example of preservation.
The photo above is an overview. Unfortunately, views of this bridge are limited. The area is maintained by camera and is strictly off limits outside of the trail or deck.


Source Type


Build Date Date stamp
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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