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

Historic Camelback Bridge

Historic Camelback Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael, March 16, 2012
1. Historic Camelback Bridge Marker
Inscription.  The town of Normal was created at the junction of the Illinois Central and the Chicago and Alton Railroads. The Camelback Bridge is the last surviving structure in Normal associated with the railroad. Its location was chosen because here the railroad builders had been forced to excavate a deep cut through the crest of the Normal Moraine. Even so, the bridge had to be built with a distinctive "camelback" shape in order to permit early wood burning locomotives, with their tall stacks, to pass under the bridge.
The first bridge in this location was made entirely of wood. About 1904 that bridge was replaced with this distinctive kingpost structure. The columns which now support the bridge were salvaged from another Illinois Central rail bridge which once crossed the Illinois River.
These columns were cast at the nationally famous Phoenix Foundry in Pennsylvania which gained acclaim in the Civil War by producing cannons for the Union army.
The bridge is a remarkable and unique survivor of Illinois' most famous early railroad. It is the only known example of this type of bridge remaining in the state.
With the opening of Constitution
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Trail in 1988, the bridge became the trail's most noteworthy landmark. In 1997 the Cambelback Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic bridge was rehabilitated by the Town of Normal in 2001.
Erected 2001 by Friends of the Bridge and the Town of Normal.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1904.
Location. 40° 29.903′ N, 88° 59.001′ W. Marker is in Normal, Illinois, in McLean County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Constitution Trail and Virginia Ave.. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Normal IL 61761, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cedar Crest Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Highland Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Van Leer's Broadview Mansion Bell (approx. ¼ mile away); Home of Joseph W. Fifer (approx. 0.9 miles away); Florence Fifer Bohrer (approx. 0.9 miles away); Franklin Square Historic District (approx. 0.9 miles away); Home of Adlai E. Stevenson I (approx. 0.9 miles away); Illinois State Normal (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Normal.
Camelback Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael, March 16, 2012
2. Camelback Bridge
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2012. This page has been viewed 789 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on August 6, 2012. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2012, by Michael of Palatine, Illinois. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024