“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Bellefontaine Bridge

The Bellefontaine Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, December 12, 2019
1. The Bellefontaine Bridge Marker
Inscription.  This stone arch bridge dates back to 1877 when it was built by Charles Liebheit and Christian Hartmann. It extends over a tributary of Fountain Creek, called Moore's Run (named after James Moore, one of the founders of Waterloo). This bridge is especially important to Monroe County as well as the State of Illinois' history as it connects the only intact portion of the original Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail.

The Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail (KCT), though only a "trace" or footpath of the Indians, was the only established road through the wilderness and probably the deciding factor for settlement of the earliest American communities in what became Illinois. The first American settlement in the State of Illinois is located here, at a place where the French called La Belle Fontaine, because of the beautiful spring that was here. The spring became a stopping point along the KCT and the area became the founding settlement of the City of Waterloo.

Due to weathering and age, La Bellefontaine Bridge was badly deteriorating and the community could have lost a very valuable piece of history. However, thanks to generous donations, the bridge
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was able to undergo a restoration project in 2015.

Thank you to the support given from the following community organizations and businesses:

Illinois American Water Environmental Grant
Landmarks Illinois Preservation Heritage Fund Grant
Monroe County History Museum
Monroe County Genealogy Society
Monroe County Historical Society
City of Waterloo

Thank you for helping preserve the rich history of our great City!

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsNative AmericansRoads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1877.
Location. 38° 19.546′ N, 90° 8.986′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from Brittany Court, 0.1 miles south of Kasey Lane, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 717 Brittany Court, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Moore Cabin (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); International Harvester Horse-Drawn Hay Tedder (about 400 feet away); Sears Roebuck Handiman Jr. Walk-Behind Tractor (about 400 feet away); Twin City Thresher (about 400 feet away);
The Bellefontaine Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, December 12, 2019
2. The Bellefontaine Bridge Marker
John Deere Two Bottom Plow - Model 49C (about 400 feet away); Bellefontaine House (about 500 feet away); Corn Stalk Cutter (about 500 feet away); La Belle Fontaine (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 26, 2023