COVERED BRIDGE OVER SNY HAS BEEN IN USE SINCE 1867
The old covered bridge, perhaps the only one of the kind in Pike County and one of the few in Western Illinois, spans the Sny about three miles southwest of New Canton. The bridge is 190 feet long, 18 feet wide and is about 14 feet high, and is still in very good condition.
The stones for the foundation were quarried from the bluffs near New Canton and hauled to the site of the bridge by ox teams. When first built the bridge was used for horse drawn vehicles and a large sign was posted on each end of the bridge which read “Five Dollar Fine For Driving Over This Bridge Faster Than A Walk”. The old sign was removed about 15 years ago and a warning posted against heavy traffic, such as threshing machines or heavy tractors. Inside the bridge massive beams form an arch that spans the Sny and as these beams are wooden they contain thousands of names and initials that have been carved there by visitors spending a few moments in the shelter. It has been reroofed twice and had two new floors. The last roof was laid about 25 years ago. The roof and sidings of the bridge form sufficient protection for the timbers and after all these years show little signs of decay.
This grand old structure has been “a shelter in the time of storm” for the horse drawn traffic of by gone days and many a time has a man and his family taken shelter in the old bridge until the storm has passed on.
This bridge was built in 1867 before the construction of the C. B. & Q. Railroad through Pike County. At that time all shippings of grain and livestock in this vicinity were hauled west to Cincinnati Landing on the Mississippi River by ox team and horse drawn wagons and loaded on steam boats for their various destinations. The bad crossing at the Sny caused the bridge to be built. In those days the hauling was over the worst kind of dirt roads and was slow. Since that time the timbers and prairie grass have been cleared from the lands and the seven miles of bottom lands, between the bluff and river, are fine productive farms. Now most of the grain and stock in this vicinity is taken over good gravel roads that the modern trucks of today have no trouble passing over, and is shipped from New Canton by railroad.
Just how long this old bridge will continue to stand no one knows. It has been suggested a number of times to replace the old structure with a modern and up to date bridge, but sentiment for the old covered bridge has prevented its destruction.
The bridge is now gone.