A wood toll bridge across the Fox River was built by the Fox River Bridge Company in 1854-1855. By 1867 the tolls had risen to what the populace considered "oppressive" and the township attempted to purchase the bridge from the company with the intent of making it a "free" bridge. The company responded by lowering the rates and creating a new rate schedule which allowed unlimited usage for a yearly fee of between $7 and $10. The purchase plan was dropped.
The plan later resurfaced in another form but it also failed. This time the company responded by raising the tolls for non-stockholders in the company. This resulted in some nearby townships refusing to do any business in Ottawa and encouraged another attempt to purchase the bridge. This time they succeeded and the bridge became a "free" bridge on January 14, 1869.
A group of disgruntled former stockholders filed suit to regain ownership of the bridge but dropped the suit when it was discovered that the western edge of the bridge was sinking.
The bridge was replaced in 1872 by this bowstring arch which remained in service until 1922.