Scenic USA - Illinois

Mary's River Covered Bridge

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Mary's River Covered Bridge- Chester, Illinois

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Built in 1854, the Mary's River Covered Bridge was an essential part of an Illinois toll Chester salutes Elzie C. Segar, creator of the cartoon character Popeye road between Bremen and Chester. Using hand-hewn native oak timbers, Wilhelm Misselhorn followed a modified Burr truss design in construction of this 86 foot bridge. The bridge rests on its original stone abutments and all the main timbers are original as well. The bridge was in service for 90 years and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. One of a few covered bridges in the southern part of Illinois, the Mary's River span was renovated in 2005 and kept in good repair.
   The nearby town of Chester salutes its own native son Elzie C. Segar, creator of Popeye. Segar's cartoon characters are said to have been inspired by a cast of Chester's own colorful residents. The Mary's River Bridge is located a few miles northeast of Chester on Route 150. Part of a roadside park honoring George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War commander, the bridge setting makes for an interesting stop along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.

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