Historic Mottville Bridge across St. Joseph River

A series of bridges across the St. Joseph River in Mottville, Mich., not far across the Indiana border from Elkhart County, gives us sort of a snapshot of local history. According to a sign posted by the river, the first bridge was a timber structure built in 1833-34. Then a pile supported bridge in 1845, followed by a Burr arch truss bridge in 1867. Stone block abutments of that bridge still can be seen close to where this photo was taken. The bridge shown here was built in 1922 and is a three-span camelback. It now serves as a foot bridge. A new bridge opened in 1990 and U.S. Highway 12 was rerouted over it. U.S. 12, with connections to the Great Sauk Trail, is a historic road. It was also known as the Chicago Road at one time. It spans most, if not all, of Michigan going east-west. I took a trip on part of it last summer and there are some interesting historical sites along the road, in addition to this bridge.

Historic bridge in Mottville, Michigan.

Historic bridge in Mottville, Michigan.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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