Wabash River Bridge

Maunie, IL

L&N Railroad

Milepost: 350.3

L&N Maunie Depot

Wabash Bridge 1902

Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois

Estimated GPS Coordinates: 38.019289,-88.021417

Click For Map


According to the Indianapolis News article from newspapers.com, the St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad reached the Wabash River on October 13, 1871. A steam ferry was used to transport passengers to the other side while bridge construction continued.

The Alton Telegraph article found on newspapers.com reported on January 12, 1872 that the construction of the railway between St. Louis and Evansville began on September 6, 1870 and was finished November 22, 1871 when the Wabash River bridge was completed.

The Nashville Union and American provided details on the St. Louis and Southeastern Wabash Bridge dated December 2, 1871 found on newspapers.com. The bridge engineer was Mr. A. R. Fauntlerory. The Railroad Gazette reported on January 4, 1871, that the railroad bridge contractors were Griffith & Van Wagenau. Mr. Fauntleroy described the bridge as follows:

  • Started on December, 1870, it was 3,815 feet long including the approach pile bridging that sets on pile abutment. The Howe Truss pattern consists of two 160 feet segments, three 180 ft spans, and a draw of 240 feet for a total of 1,100 feet. Five hundred ten piles were driven 20 feet into the river bed then sawed with a floating saw mill to three feet below the water line. Six stone piers supported the structure that spanned the Wabash River.

According to a newspaper.com, The Decatur Herald reported on June 1, 1919, that the Fifth Illinois Infantry, L Company, from Decatur, had been dispatched on April 2nd, 1917 to guard the L & N Railroad Bridges at Maunie, IL and Henderson, KY.

A former CSX employee, Reeder Shelow, recalls that manual operation of the was possible until the early 1970s. Iron bars were used to operate the mechanism and several people were needed.

Interview with Reeder Shelow

The Filson Historical Society has an L & N Architectural Archive that includes a floor plan, rear elevation and cross section for a proposed shanty for drawn tender to be used on the Wabash River (St. Louis Division). The shanty consists of a bed area and a living space with stove. Exterior features a slanted, tin roof.

MapShanty for Draw Tender -- Wabash River, May 1894
The Filson Historical Society

1909 Wabash River Railroad Bridge at Maunie

1915 Wabash River Railroad Swing Bridge

Nancy English Collection
The Indiana Album

Wabash River Railroad Bridge at Maunie 1915

Melissa Brand-Welch

Wabash River Railroad Bridge Aerial Photo 1938

Illinois Historical Aerial Photographs

Wabash River Railroad Bridge Aerial Photo 2018

Google Maps

Wabash River Railroad Drawbridge Instructions

L & N Railroad Company
1972 Evansville Division
Time-Table No. 8

Wabash River