History, Road Trips

Neat creatures, 2 cents: Replica covered bridge on the Illinois National Road

Covered bridge near Clark Center

Clark Center is barely a town, as it features just a handful of homes and what looks like a warehouse. But the original US 40 and National Road alignment runs right through it, the 1920s brick road having been paved over with asphalt at some point. This stretch lasts but a mile, but you really should pull off and drive it just so you can see this covered bridge. It’s actually just a modern steel-stringer bridge with a wooden cover, but it’s neat nonetheless.

Covered bridge near Clark Center

Speaking of neat, I’d like to know what qualifies as a “neat creature.” Covered bridges – real ones, with timber trusses and decks – were common on the National Road in the 1800s. After the US government turned the road over to the states through which it ran, it became a toll road in many places. I suppose there would even have been toll bridges along the old pike. That’s what this sign hearkens back to.

Outstanding in my field

Margaret, my travel companion, photographed me while I photographed the bridge. I’m outstanding in my field!

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


9 thoughts on “Neat creatures, 2 cents: Replica covered bridge on the Illinois National Road

  1. Christopher Smith says:

    Interesting read Jim and neat photos with brings me to the point of how you interpret the definition of neat is it neat as in tidy or neat as in cool so
    “Neat Creatures” could be interpreted in two ways.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.