Casefile Clues

29 June 2013

That Darned Keokuk Bridge and Library of Congress Pictures

The Library of Congress has wonderful pictures in their collection. Some may be great material to illustrate stories or records in your family history collection.

This image is of the Keokuk-Hamilton bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. I rode across it many times with my parents as a child. My dad hated driving across it and talking or misbehaving while on the bridge was forbidden. It was extremely narrow when meeting a semi (even when you were not meeting the semi on one of the "curves. I can remember my parents "pulling in the truck mirrors" while we crossed and I think there was at least one broken truck mirror as a result of meeting a semi

Traffic would stop on the bridge to let barges go through and I can remember getting "stuck" on the bridge waiting for a barge to cross. Sometimes we'd get out and walk on the bridge looking down at the water through the grate. The bridge does not have a solid concrete surface. It was always fun to look down at the water.

The bridge is still standing today and is used for railroad traffic. There is a newer bridge to the south which is used for highway traffic.


Keokuk--Hamilton Bridge,courtesy Library of Congress--heading east from Iowa side.
There is a set of pictures of the bridge on the Library of Congress website. There are thousands of pictures in the collection, just make certain your use of them is allowable.

There is a history of the bridge on the Library of Congress website as well--in PDF format.

Source information below:
  • Title: 15. GENERAL DECK VIEW, KEOKUK HIGHWAY APPROACH, LOOKING E TOWARD THE BRIDGE. PHOTOGRAPHER: ROBERT A. RYAN - Keokuk & Hamilton Bridge, Spanning Mississippi River, Keokuk, Lee County, IA
  • Medium: 4 x 5 in.
  • Reproduction Number: HAER IOWA,56-KEOK,1--15
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted.(http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html)
  • Call Number: HAER IOWA,56-KEOK,1--15
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
  • Place: