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is the Babylon Bend Bridge. The town of Babylon is unremarkable. A collection of fishing shacks most of which are still occupied. But the bridge is of interest. A wood and metal bridge constructed over the Spoon River in 1875. It's had no major changes since then except for regular repairs. Not a ruin so much in that it's not used, but it has been pretty much forgoten. I was in the only vehicle to cross it in over 30 minutes. it's on a back road that you really have to look for in order to find. it's on the National Register of Historic places but there is no sign to even let you know that. Unfortunately, the National register is very specific about what can and can't be replaced so sometimes things go without repair. Historically it's been a dangerous bridge because the road coming through Babylon from the opposite side comes down a long hill and around a blind corner. So there is no way of knowing if someone else is on the bridge.


Far side

Side view

Single lane wooden tracks

Over the railing

Past accident

Rusty support, loose board

Driving into the sun

Rusty Rail

Long way to back up if you meet another car

Upper structure

Spoon River. Hard to imagine the thousands of pioneer families (including mine) who came up this by raft in the early 1800's. It's down because of our drought.

x-posted to rural_ruin




( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
hi, i'm originally from Carthage...i was wondering how far Babylon was from there..and where. i've never heard of it before. There's one of those old bridges like that near my great-grandpa's old farm. it looks a lot like that but there's lots of graffiti on it from high schoolers. I still have lots of family there and my dad owns a farm equipment dealership there. :-)
Oct. 17th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
Good grief, we are probably related. I'm from Carthage too. In fact my whole family still lives there except for my folks. You can't swing a dead cat around in that town without knocking over one of my relatives.

From Carthage, Babylon would be about an hour and a half drive. You'd go to Macomb and then head up to Bushnell and go toward Canton from there. Babylon is about midway between. It's not on any state maps that I know of but I could tell you which roads to turn down.

Oct. 17th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
i'm related to pretty much all the Walker's, Boyer's, and Lovell's. my dad's co-owner of Knorr & Walker, and he's on the county board.

I've driven from Bushnell to Canton tons of times...i've even intertubed down part of the Spoon River with some friends one afternoon..tho i think it was more toward the north branch.
Oct. 17th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
One of my Dad's classmates from High School is the mayor of Carthage. Nice guy. The Wear's are all my relatives. My Uncle Bob Wear was a postman in Carthage for years. My uncle Bud Wear works for the city. He and his wife Linda now live in town but they used to live out in the sticks around Carthage. Their daughters are Bobbie, Tanya and Shelly Wear though I think one of them is married now. Bob's daughter is Robin Wear though she's married too. My uncle Bill Wear owned Bill's IGA he died in 92 and one of his son's Bobby was murdered over in Keokuk in 93. But there are two other sons, Bill Jr and Tim Wear and his daughter Diana who runs the store now and she was married to a Repplinger but is now married to someone else. Then my mom's sister Mary and her husband Harlan Tobias now live in town. They used to live in Basco. They have a couple of daughters, one who married Keith elefritz and produced a couple famous Carthage football players Ben and Bart Ellefritz who are my second cousins. Ross Wear and his kin are all my relatives as well. Also, my mom has a sister Fran who is married to John Artman and they have two sons John and David. also, my cousin Chris Jones who grew up in Carthage and later in Quincy is the only Gynocologist in Carthage. He was recently in an accident over in Iowa and punctured a lung. If your dad has lived there all his life, he probably knows several members of my family. My mom was Alice Wear bytthe way now Alice Dierker.

Oct. 17th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC)
I know Ben and Bart!! Bart was in my class and Ben was in my brother's class....that is before we moved to LaHarpe. I think they're mom was a boyscout leader..or they're dad was...i was too little to remember much about that. My brother's kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Wear....are you related? I don't remember her first name. yeah my dad's been there his whole life...he knows like everyone...when i was little i always thought he knew everyone in town and he was famous or something. lol.
Oct. 17th, 2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
If the name was Wear, I'm sure we are related. So what is your Dad's first name? I'll ask my Mom if she knows him. When I was littel and went to Lincoln Elementray for a brief time I had a friend named Johnny Walker and another named Kevin Tripp. Then there were these two brothers, Evan and DJ Hurst. DJ was the only black kid in all of Carthage because he was adopted. Strange the things I remember about back then.

Oct. 17th, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
David Walker is my dad's name. If your family has lived there all their lives, he is certainly hard to miss. my dad usually stands out b/c he's very loud, and tall.
Oct. 17th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
Are you related to a Johnny Walker? He would be about 40 now.

Oct. 17th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
i've never heard of him, so probably not.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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