Wolf Covered Bridge Gilson, Illinois Knox County

Wolf Covered Bridge

     In 1831, the state of Illinois granted Knox County $200 dollars to build a bridge over the Spoon River.  Research indicates that the bridge was not built until 1838.      The original bridge was built by Jacob Wolf, a prominent cattle rancher and owner of one thousand acres in Knox County.  This bridge was an uncovered wooden deck.  In 1873, Jacob Burkhalter,  civil war captain, built a wooden enclosure over the bridge.  There were wooden swinging end doors. The enclosure preserved the wood from rot.  The original bridge was 234 feet long and 11 feet wide.  Over the years, the bridge was covered with graffiti.      In August 1, 1994, the bridge was destroyed by fire.  Arson was suspected.  3 boys were charged and tried.  They were given probation.      The state of Illinois provided funds from a new bridge.  The replica was created by master craftsmen using new materials and traditional building skills. The new bridge was wider and taller than the original to accommodate modern vehicles.  It was completed in 1999.  Costs were $900,000.      The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.      

Interior Bridge

     Photos are courtesy of D.W.

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