Stone Arch Bridge

Last weekend, we were on our way home from a trip to the southwest corner of Kanasas. A few hours from home we were going through the tiny unincorporated town of Rice when we saw a sign indicating an old stone bridge. So we followed the signs and finally the road deadended right front of an old limestone arch bridge. We climbed down the creek bank and then walked along the muddy creekbottom a little bit to better view the bridge.

A placard stated that the bridge was built in 1899 for $220.  At the time the bridge was on the main road, but in 1920, a new main road was built a couple hundred feet south. The old road with the bridge was still used though until about 1950. In 1904, and again in 1950, floodwaters damaged the bridge and it was finally closed to vehicle traffic in 1950.

It continued to fall into disrepair until 1990 when a grassroots effort began to restore the bridge. Donations of money and labor restored the bridge to its former glory.

We spent about a half hour carefully walking the muddy creekbed taking pics of the bridge,

The underside of the bridge

and then I make one misstep, my foot slipped in the mud, and my feet went out from under me and I landed in the mud. It was soft, so no harm done, but the back of my jeans were coated with mud.

I scraped as much of it as I could off by rubbing my backside along the bark of some trees. (There’s a mental image for you!) But there was no way I could get back in the truck. So we pulled my suitcase out, and I changed clothes right there near the bridge. Thankfully there were lots of trees around for cover and no one else was visiting the bridge at the time. A clean t-shirt and skirt later, we were on our way again down the road.

If you find ever find yourself in north central Kansas, stop by to see this lovely old bridge.

Click here to see a map. To get to the bridge turn north from Route 9 on North 200 Road. Go one block, then turn right and the street will dead-end at the bridge.

And be careful if there’s mud.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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11 Responses

  1. Frank Thompson says:

    Wow – that is one cool bridge. Glad you shared this one.

  2. Alica says:

    Whoops! I’m glad you had a change of clothes handy! It’s a beautiful bridge…too bad they can’t build them like that for $220 any more!

  3. Glenda says:

    So glad Harland was with you to record the muddied clothing. Good thing you are such an outdoor creature or you would’ve never had the hutzpuh to change out in the wild.(Do they know how you and your brother used to wander the farmland in your childhood?)
    If I had a blog I would’ve done photos and history of Clifton Mill near Cedarville OH. The water was rushing and there was a covered bridge and a water wheel and the old mill there to eat at and relax in. A nice stop on the way home from my conference.

  4. Tina says:

    I love the pictures of the bridge and your backside too! Glad to see you have a sense of humor. And how about the picture of Harland with the Captain Morgan stance?
    To Glenda….tell us more!

  5. Old bridges have so much charm. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kerry Hand says:

    Aren’t those old bridges just great. Very skillful people who could put that stonework together.
    My blog post in the works is about our local bridge. It’ll be a week or two yet. Now long drowned under the lake. Around here they needed to cross big rivers. So we have a series of suspension bridges nearby aged from about 1860 to 1910. Great things. Kerry

  7. Hollyce says:

    Beautiful bridge and photos.

  8. Karen says:

    Beautiful photos of the bridge,and I’ll bet Harland was laughing when he took that shot of you with muddy backside! It’s so wonderful that people work to restore these old treasures! Thanks for sharing such a special find.

  9. Louise S says:

    What a beautiful little gem out in the middle of nowhere! Loved the pics and had a good laugh over the muddy backside story. You and Harland have quite the adventures. 🙂

  10. Makes me want to travel out to our local stone bridge – the colorfully named Chicken Creek!

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