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Riddle Hill Covered Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Jeremy Ruble

BH Photo #477428

Map 

Street View 

Essay 

Written by Jeremy Ruble

This bridge has been called Riddle Hill, Curran, and Spring Creek Covered Bridge. The actual name is Riddle Hill, but most of the locals call it Spring Creek Covered Bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Burr Arch truss bridge over Spring Creek on County Road 5.5 W
Location
Sangamon County, Illinois
Status
Destroyed by arson
History
Built in 1883; lost to possible arson fire in 1977
Builder
- Thomas C. Bucher
Design
Burr arch-truss
Dimensions
Total length: 60.0 ft.
Deck width: 13.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 10.0 ft.
Also called
Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Curran Covered Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.80324, -89.75790   (decimal degrees)
39°48'12" N, 89°45'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/263895/4409557 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 90097 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 31, 2020: Essay added by Jeremy Ruble
  • July 29, 2020: Updated by Luke: Added links to sources section
  • July 29, 2020: Updated by Jeremy Ruble: I have articles from the historical society proving Iím right. I will be contacting them today.
  • July 28, 2020: Updated by Luke: Reverted name to one recalled by Tony Dillon and proven by research by Melissa Bramd-Welch
  • July 28, 2020: Updated by Jeremy Ruble: Corrected info to historical facts not word of mouth
  • July 28, 2020: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • July 28, 2020: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added name that bridge was commonly referred to.

Sources 

Comments 

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge/Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Posted July 30, 2020, by Jeremy Ruble (saukee0 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

No need for a gun fight over the name of a bridge lol.

Spring Creek Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Andy Winegar

Pistols at noon. Whoever wins, names the bridge.

Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Jeremy Ruble (saukee0 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I agree it had several names but the one I put us the one commonly used. I drive a truck and I can only due my research when stopped.

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Luke

1 source + local rose-tinted hearsay vs 11 (Technically 12, considering your own source backs up the Riddle Hill name.) other, more credible sources, several of which had previously been provided by Tony and Melissa.

"The bridge, which crosses Spring Creek, has a span of 80 feet with short approaches at each end. The construction is Burr arch. The bridge was probably built in 1883, by Thomas Bucher of Bucher and Horton. This bridge is usually called the Riddle Hill Bridge, although it is about a mile from Riddle Hill. It has also been referred to as the Curran Bridge."

http://www.genealogytrails.com/ill/sangamon/coveredbridges.h...

Riddle Hill Bridge, over Spring Creek,

four miles west of Springfield (Sangamon

County), 80' long, dating from 1883

https://archive.org/details/illinoisspringfilinc_18/page/n2/...

Chester, your suggestion would work if that were also the historical name, but Old Covered Bridge Lane is a post-arson renaming of the road.

Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Since many bridges take the name of the road they are on, why not call it the N Old Covered Bridge Lane Bridge. The other names under contention could be listed under Alternate Names. Just a suggestion.

Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Jeremy Ruble (saukee0 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

https://sangamoncountyhistory.org/wp/?p=7878

I have more sources but Iím currently working and will have to share them later. I always do research for adding bridges on here. I corrected another bridge on here and it was changed back last year and I fixed it again. My great uncle was instrumental on getting that bridge built and Iím also in the Pike County Historical Society and have many resources.

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge
Posted July 29, 2020, by Luke

Cite your sources, Jeremy.

Meanwhile, per LostBridges:

Lane, Oscar F.. World Guide to Covered Bridges, 1972, page 12

Eaton, Thelma. The Covered Bridges of Illinois, 1968, page 184

National Society For the Preservation of Covered Bridges. Covered Bridge Topics, Volume XXXVI, No. 2, Spring 1978, page 15

National Society For the Preservation of Covered Bridges. Covered Bridge Topics, Volume XV, No. 2, July 1957, page 4

Also, to rebut your "tHaTs WhAt AlL tHe NeWsPaPeRs CaLl It" claim:

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/516032859/

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/142307222/

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/516559088/

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/85197261/

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It obviously had several names, with Spring Creek being the most generic of the bunch. While I certainly didn't mean to step on your toes by changing it initially, it is not incorrect to refer to it as the Riddle Hill Bridge.

One thing I do know is that this bridge was a Burr Arch truss, and not a Howe as was incorrectly mentioned. It was also nowhere near the 130ft length given, and was perhaps 60-70 ft long at best. Pic #1 matches the bridge in pic #2 that clearly shows the Burr Arch. The last photo added shows the interior of a much longer Howe Truss Bridge. If I had to guess, it is of the Thompson's Mill Bridge some 40 miles to the South in Shelby County.

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Luke

Meanwhile LostBridges, the covered bridge equivalent to this site, calls it Riddle Hill.

http://www.lostbridges.org/details.aspx?id=IL/13-84-01x&loc=...

Couple that w/ Tony's memory and the fact that Melissa found a postcard that calls it Riddle Hill...

Spring Creek Covered Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Jeremy Ruble (saukee0 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I have messaged with the locals and they confirmed that this bridge was referred to as the Spring Creek Covered Bridge. A lot of them remember when it burned.

Riddle Hill Covered Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I remember reading about this bridge not long after it was destroyed. They referred to it as the Riddle Hill Bridge.