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Read Township Stone Arch Bridge


Iowa Department of Transportation


BH Photo #270763


At the turn of the century, Clayton County contracted with a variety of firms and individuals to build bridges across the county's myriad streams and ditches. For longer-span crossings (often across the Turkey River) the county opted for iron or steel trusses, whereas at shorter crossings, rudimentary timber stringer structures were often erected. For some crossings, though, the county took advantage of the area's limestone quarries and erected arch bridges built of stone. Constructed by numerous local stone masons, these crossings have maintained a higher degree of structural integrity than either their timber or steel stringer counterparts. The most notable of Clayton County's stone arches is Byrne and Blake's 189-foot Keystone Bridge, built over the Turkey River at Elkader in 1888-89. A typical example of stone arch construction is the Read Township Culvert, located some 4.5 miles southeast of Garnavillo, in central Clayton County. On January 2, 1900, local contractors Stoops and Williamson were paid $814.25 for the erection of this stone arch bridge. Stone for the project was likely obtained from either the Motor Quarry near Motor Mill or Coles Quarry near Elkader. Today, this bridge exhibits an exceptionally high degree of craftsmanship and historical integrity [adapted from Fraser 1991].


Stone culvert bridge over Bente Branch on Harbor Road
Clayton County, Iowa
Built 1899
- Stoops & Williamson of Clayton County, Iowa
Stone arch culvert
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 12, 1999
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.83330, -91.31917   (decimal degrees)
42°49'60" N, 91°19'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/637372/4743673 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 99000308 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 51088 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (9,633)
Arch (12,864)
Built 1899 (447)
Built during 1890s (3,389)
Clayton County, Iowa (125)
Deck arch (12,081)
Iowa (6,865)
Lost (31,801)
NR-listed (3,027)
Stone arch (3,366)
Stoops & Williamson (1)

Update Log 

  • February 23, 2021: New photos from David Beck
  • January 13, 2021: Updated by Luke: BRIDGE HAS BEEN DEMOLISHED
  • November 20, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • January 25, 2012: Added by Luke Harden