Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Polecat Creek Stone Bridge, Butler County, Kansas

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” - Henry David Thoreau

Polecat Creek Stone Bridge

They come to be alone, to fish for the small Blue Gill, or just to sit and read a book at Pole Cat Creek Bridge, a single span stone arch bridge, located five miles south of Rose Hill, Kansas then one and a half miles east on 230th street. 

The bridge was built by C.C. Jamison, who with his parents came from Indiana to Kansas in 1875 and settled in El Dorado. Jamison became a contractor building several of the stone arch bridges of Butler County, Kansas.

Most people visiting the bridge don't realize that by driving a few hundred feet to the east, they are entering the ghost town of Providence, Kansas, a spa briefly famous for its mineral water.  

Barely a stones throw to the east of the bridge, in 1873, a well was dug and mineral water discovered. 

A.A. Hyde the inventor of Mentholatum promoted the mineral water and built a hotel with ten rooms, a bath house and dining room. A general store was added across the street. The town's life was brief for the hotel appears on the 1887 Atlas of Richland Township , but disappears on the 1910 atlas.

Richland Township, 1887, detail, Providence

Since you are conjuring up images of the old days, consider this.

During 1870 and 1871, cattle came up the Chisholm Trail through Richland Township crossing northwesterly between Eight Mile and Polecat Creeks. This too ended when settlers pushed the cattle trail west. 

The settlers told tales that included Indians, prairie fires, and grasshoppers.

[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]

About Stone Bridges

No comments:

Post a Comment