2 votes

ADBF - South Branch Raisin River Stone Arch


Photo taken by Janis Ford in September 2009


BH Photo #300792


Street View 


This bridge is the oldest known non-covered bridge in Michigan. Along with the railroad bridge in Hudson, it is among the largest and most impressive stone bridges in Michigan, and is much more imposing visually than would be indicated by its length alone.


Stone arch bridge over South Branch Raisin River on Adrian & Blissfield Railroad (formerly NYC RR)
Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan
Open to traffic
Built 1867
- E. W. Ensign
- Adrian & Blissfield Railroad (ADBF)
- Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad (LS&MS)
- New York Central Railroad (NYC)
Stone arch
Length of largest span: 22.0 ft.
Total length: 75.0 ft.
Deck width: 25.0 ft.
Also called
Adrian Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.88962, -84.04628   (decimal degrees)
41°53'23" N, 84°02'47" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/745054/4641740 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
740 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 52033 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 22, 2021: Updated by Paul Plassman: Added photos and information
  • December 7, 2020: New photo from Luke
  • June 19, 2016: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Corrected RR reporting marks
  • October 11, 2014: New photos from Janis Ford
  • June 26, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Adrian & Blissfield Railroad"
  • April 11, 2012: Added by Frank Hicks



ADBF - South Branch Raisin River Stone Arch
Posted February 10, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


Not counting covered bridges, this is the oldest bridge I have associated a construction date with in Michigan. Unless there are other stone rail bridges hidden away in less visible locations that we do not know of, this could indeed be the oldest.

ADBF - South Branch Raisin River Stone Arch
Posted February 10, 2021, by Paul

This is one of the most significant bridges in southern Michigan, both for its age, its association with the state's first railroad, and for being one of only a few large-scale stone arch bridges in the state. It may be the second oldest bridge in Michigan. I am not 100% sure on that, but so far the only Michigan bridge that I have discovered to be older is the Ackley Covered Bridge, which was built in 1832 in Pennsylvania and moved to Greenfield Village in 1937. So if that is considered cheating since it was built in another state, the Adrian bridge may "just possibly" be truly the oldest in Michigan. Further research is needed to confirm this, however.

Adrian Railroad Bridge
Posted June 26, 2012, by Janis Ford (jford3 [at] columbus [dot] rr [dot] com)

Photos taken 9/27/09