Bridge

Taking down the old wagon bridge (Iowa-Illinois) and building the new Gateway Bridge in 1954.

CLINTON — February will be a busy month for the Clinton History Club as it has two events scheduled, one featuring a program about bridges and another an open house at Clinton High School.

The first event will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 20, when members of the Clinton History Club will attend a special program at the Fulton Martin House Museum on the Six Bridges that connected Fulton, Illinois and Clinton. The museum is located at 707 10th Ave. in Fulton.

The Six Bridges listed in the Fulton Museum program include the first railroad bridges, 1860-1909; then the double track railroad bridge, 1909-present; the Lyons-Fulton High Bridge, 1891-1975; the Mark N. Morris Bridge, 1975-present; the Clinton-Illinois Bridge, 1892-1954; and the Gateway Bridge, 1956-present. The Martin House presentation includes numerous unique photos of the various bridges.

The Lyons-Fulton High Bridge (its official name) was well-known nationally when the Lincoln Highway selected it for the crossing of the Mississippi River for the first transcontinental highway. It was a unique and impressive structure. People marveled at the installation of the upper steel spans sitting atop the limestone piers.

The 1892 Clinton-Illinois bridge was often referred to as the high bridge and it truly was. It crossed over the top of the previous and current railroad bridges. It was also called the wagon bridge because in 1892 only horses, wagons, and walkers used it. The bridge had sharp turns and a steep elevation. The wooden-plank floor rumbled when patrons went across the bridge.

At 1 p.m. Feb. 23, the Clinton History Club and the Clinton High School Synergy Club will host an open house at the Clinton High School Commons.

Construction started around 1920 on Clinton High School. Classes began in September 1921. Members will be celebrating 100 years of history at Clinton High School, with various displays of memorabilia and historical items related to the past 100 years at the high school. This event was rescheduled from January because of a snow and ice.

The public is invited to attend and display items. Items to showcase and share with the public include copies of the Clintonian newspaper, old band uniforms, uniforms from various team sports, or old letter jackets.

Other items to bring include vintage programs from various athletic events or high school sports programs; any programs from girls athletic or school activities; items related to musicals, talent shows, or class plays; and medals, trophies and ribbons from various activities or athletic events.

Special awards, school certificates of recognition, and old posters are welcome. Old news articles or high school sports stories from the Clinton Herald are needed.

The club also is looking for old high school annuals to display and photos of teachers or students, class photos, photos of various clubs or school organizations and any photos of athletic or school events. Be sure and bring anything related to school dances or sock-hops.

The doors open at noon for people displaying items. Tables and chairs will be provided. History students will host tours of the school. Refreshments will be available. Park in the east parking lot and enter through the door into the Commons area.

For more information on this special 100 years of history at Clinton High School or to learn more about the History Club, contact Gregg Obren at Gobren74@live.com or (563) 503-8345. Contact John Rowland at jrow242@gmail.com or (563) 593-1101. To schedule an event or have a presentation, contact John or Gregg. The public and new members are always welcome to attend meetings.