1 vote

Kilburn Bridge


Kilburn Bridge, Petit Jean River, Logan Co ARK

Old photograph of the Kilburn Bridge, first known as the Thomas Bridge.

J Randall Houp collection


BH Photo #225401


Brief history 

Written by J Randall Houp

This was the first of 9 steel bridges built across the Petit Jean River in Logan County, ARK. Built in 1898 by the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York. Originally named the Thomas Bridge. The ford at this location was originally named the Evan Thomas Crossing or just the Thomas Ford. When the Thomas family moved on or passed away the Kilburn family moved to this location. On October 2, 1905, it was decided by the County Court to dismantle the Thomas Bridge and move it a 1/2 mile just south of Magazine to be the #1 Magazine Bridge (Estep Ford Bridge). At the last minute in 1906 the Illinois Bridge Company of Jacksonville, IL., talked the county into building a new bridge instead of relocating the Thomas Bridge. This bridge was washed away in a severe flood in May 1990. The present bridge, constructed of railroad flatcars now sits at this location. Cost of flatcar bridge in 1991 was estimated at $113,000.00. The original bridge built in 1898 cost the county $4,500.00. Several piers from the original Thomas Bridge (Kilburn) are still under the present bridge, A REMINDER OF HISTORY PAST. Complete documented history to be completed soon.


Lost through truss bridge over Petit Jean River on Thomas Road west of Magazine
Logan County, Arkansas
Destroyed by flooding
Destroyed by flood in May 1990 and replaced
- Groton Bridge Co. of Groton, New York
Pratt through truss
Also called
Thomas Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.14336, -93.83425   (decimal degrees)
35°08'36" N, 93°50'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/424005/3889259 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 10432 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (6,883)
Arkansas (1,714)
Built 1898 (286)
Built during 1890s (2,744)
Destroyed by flood (407)
Groton Bridge Co. (79)
Logan County, Arkansas (75)
Lost (22,250)
Petit Jean River (12)
Pratt through truss (5,004)
Pratt truss (8,739)
Through truss (14,035)
Truss (31,223)

Update Log 

  • February 15, 2012: Essay added by J Randall Houp
  • October 4, 2008: Updated by Randall Houp


  • J. Randall Houp


Kilburn Bridge
Posted January 19, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Randall, can you post the contract and prints here? I'd love to see them.

Kilburn Bridge
Posted January 19, 2014, by Charles Bowden (charliesmail101 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Way to go, so glad to see photos of this bridge, i feared none would ever be found.

Kilburn Bridge
Posted July 1, 2008, by Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Need to make a correction on when this bridge was lost. It was washed away by the flood of May 1990. Have documented newspaper accounts to prove this. Still searching for photos of this historic relic. According to Charles Bowden a couple were once married on this bridge. Who was the couple and what year did they get married? What other interesting happenings occured on this bridge?

Kilburn Bridge
Posted September 23, 2007, by Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)


I am deligently working on this bridge. It was built in 1898 the first bridge built across the Petit Jean River in Logan County. It was first known as the Thomas Bridge because at that location it was known as the Evan Thomas crossing or ford. I have the bridge contract, blue prints and a complete history of this bridge; now just looking for a photograph. My wife & I are going out this week to put a sign on the bridge that now exist that will read as follows: WANTED: PHOTOGRAPH OF OLD THOMAS ROAD BRIDGE, ALSO KNOWN AS THE KILBURN BRIDGE. With a way to contact me. Will keep in touch.



Kilburn Bridge
Posted November 29, 2006, by Charles Bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

i was visiting my dad the other day and in talking about this bridge he reminded me that the plaque that was on it was dated 1895. i am thinking of putting ads in the local paper to see if someone out there might have photos of this beautiful old bridge

Kilburn Bridge
Posted June 25, 2006, by charles bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

of the 4 bridges south of Magazine spanning the Petit Jean, this one may have been my favorite. A Pratt Through truss built early in the 1900's, it was the most rustic & ancient appearing of the 4. even as a young adult i was always a bit timid crossing it because it was so worn out, and to me that is what made it a bridge. i have no photos of it, but it looks identical to the Tull Bridge in Saline county. the first time i saw the Tull bridge i could have sworn it was the Kilburn bridge, right down to the sloped approach and immediate left turn at its portal. my father was born at home on the kitchen table just 1/4 mile south of this bridge in 1927, i grew up about 2 miles northeast of it. and i recall a RUMOR that early in the bridges life that a couple actually had they're wedding on this bridge.