Stone Arch Bridge on the Galena Road, A
The marker is located in a rest area on US 52/IL 64, just north of Brookville, near the Ogle/Carroll County line.
Division of Highways and The Illinois State Historical Society
The Stone Arch Bridge that stands to the east of the present highway was on the Galena Road, once the most important trail in northern Illinois. Along this route innumerable people streamed northward to the lead mines near Galena every spring and many returned southward in the fall. The movement was likened to that of the fish called Sucker, from which the State received its nickname.
This portion of the road from Dixon was surveyed in 1830 as the road from Woodbine Springs to Ogee's Ferry (later Dixon's Ferry, now Dixon), replacing the longer 1825 Kellogg's Trail and the 1826 Boles' Trail. Roads from Peoria and Chicago joined at Dixon and continued as one to Galena. Mail and stagecoach lines traveled the Peoria - Galena route as early as 1830 and the Chicago - Galena route by 1834. Here the road intersected the earlier Gratiot's Trail, which also ran from Dixon to Galena but extended farther north to avoid the rough terrain.
During the Black Hawk War in 1832, militia and regular army troops marched on both trails. Abraham Lincoln, as a private in the company of Captain Elijah Iles, camped overnight near here, June 8 and 12. As a private in the independent spy company of Jacob M. Early, Lincoln made a forced march to Kellogg's Grove (near Kent), arriving there June 26, the day after the last battle fought in Illinois during that War.
Isaac Chambers, who was not only the first settler of Ogle County at Buffalo Grove near Polo but also of Lima Township here in Carroll County, operated a stage coach inn nearby and a sawmill on Elkhorn Creek two miles to the southeast.
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