Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Old Washington Street Bridge over Hickory Creek
Old Washington Street  Bridge over Hickory Creek
TitleOld Washington Street Bridge over Hickory Creek
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingMay 1926
DescriptionDrawing of the old Washington Street bridge. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleAncient bridge mellowed by passing years : time has served only to make stone structure more picturesque.
Transcript of the ArticleWritten in pencil at top: " Reduce to 9 inches high." Written in pencil at bottom: "Orig; Old Washington St Bridge over Hickory Creek" From Joliet Herald-News "The old stone bridge lying across Hickory creek at Washington street is said by the oldest inhabitant to be one of the most ancient bridges in Joliet. In fact, it is so old that no one can remember just when it was built. Rough estimates place the date variously from 1845 to 1865, making it a truly venerable structure, whether it is 60 or 75 or 80 years old. And decidedly, it shows the ear marks of the wear and tear of modern life. Its mottled old stones have begun to fall away from the strict angularity of its beginnings. Consequently it becomes more picturesque every year. The more so, perhaps, that it was of an easy, not too conservative—not too conventional form in its irregular outline. History Flows By. The old bridge has watched history flow over it and under its pleasant arches. Once, the creek was overgrown with thick groups of willow trees that bent over the stream and shook their leaves into the water. This was just south of the bridge, where the stream spread itself into golden ripples as it flowed away to the Desplaines. On the north of the bridge it was an exquisitely graceful stream with curving banks, shaded with great oaks and picturesque sycamores. On Red Mill Drive. The bridge, at one time was the mecca of the youth of Joliet whose regular Sunday pilgrimages were drives to the Red Mill and back again. It was at the true horse-and-buggy period when the famous "side-bars" and "phaetons" were the only type of polite Sunday locomotion. Historic homes and pleasant farms bordered that picturesque Red Mill drive. There was the L. E. Ingalls stock farm of 260 acres, the J. E. Bush farm, the Thomas Culbertson home and mill, the J. F. Perry home, the Higinbotham extension farms and many others. At this time the Rowell gravel pit has not been removed, and the road passed thru a deep cut in a tall hill. Bush Owned Land. It was quite early in the history of Joliet, when Stephen Bush, father of J. E. Bush, came to Will county from Washington county, N. Y., where he was born in 1835. He owned the first elevator in Will county, built by Abijah Cagwin. Records in the abstract office show that Stephen Bush once possessed the tract of land immediately east of Hickory creek bridge at Washington street. It was in 1863 that Mark T. Harrington conveyed 73 acres of beautiful land running up to the bridge at the east, to Mrs. Jeannette Bush and Miss Kate Bush. And it was in May, 1865, that Nathan B. Huntington conveyed the remaining small piece of the tract, six and one-half acres to be exact, to Frank and Charles H. Bush which was later made into a subdivision, now entirely built up with charming little homes. Plot Was Subdivided. Again another parcel of 38 acres was conveyed by Jeanette Bush and her husband to William E. Henry, in 1872. This was immediately transferred to E. C. Akin, lawyer, who one month later, subdivided it into what is still the prosperous Akin subdivision."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description36cm. x 27cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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