Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Polecat Creek Stone Bridge, Butler County, Kansas

PoleCat Creek Stone Bridge


Polecat Creek Bridge is a single span stone arch bridge, located five miles south of Rose Hill, Kansas and one and a half miles east on 230th street. The bridge was built by C.C. Jamison, a native of Indiana, who came to Kansas in 1875 with his parents. C.C. Jamison eventually settled in El Dorado, working as a contractor and builder. He built several of the stone arch bridges of Butler County, Kansas.

The bridge is located in Richland Township. An excellent history of which is written by L. D. Himebaugh in Vol. P. Mooney’s History of Butler County Kansas, published 1916. Skyways

Himebaugh tells the story of the ghost town of Providence, one and a half miles east of the bridge on 230th street. In 1873, a well was dug and mineral water discovered. The water proved healthful and was promoted by A.A. Hyde of Wichita. A ten room hotel, bath house and dining room was constructed and made ready for guests from Wichita and elsewhere. A.A. Hyde then constructed a general store across the street and sold the mineral water in Wichita. The hotel appears on the Atlas of Richland Township for 1887, but disappears on the Atlas for the year 1910.

Richland Township, 1887, detail, Providence

A second interesting fact is that in the summers of 1870 and 1871, cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail through Richland Township crossing in a northwest direction between Eight Mile and PoleCat Creeks. Settlements in the area pushed the trail further west in the following years. Other stories include tales of Indians, prairie fires, and grasshoppers.


From Wichita, head east on Highway 54/400 (Kellogg Avenue). One mile east of the Butler County line, turn south on Andover Rd. to Rosehill. After 5 miles, Andover Rd. becomes SW Butler Rd.. Continue on SW Butler Rd. through Rosehill to 230th St.. The Polecat Creek Stone Bridge is 1 and 1/2 miles to the east.

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