Decatur & State Line Railway Bridge Piers – Manteno, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

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Decatur & State Line Railway Bridge Piers

Kankakee River State Park
Manteno, Illinois

Meant for a railway that was never built because of the Great Chicago Fire, these piers still stand nearly 150 years after they were installed. 


The Wikipedia page for Kankakee River State Park had but one cryptic clue as to the origins of these lonely piers located near the Chippewa Campground: “hand-cut limestone pillars mark where a railway bridge was to have been built for the railroad before financiers ran out of money.”

The railroad was to be known as the Decatur & State Line Railway. The line was chartered in 1869, when construction over the Kankakee River, including the bridge piers, began, but the project quickly lost its financial backing partly because of the Great Chicago Fire.  

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