Old Man River Series: Towboat  LbNA # 23743 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJul 14 2006
CountyRock Island
LocationRock Island, IL
Found By tat2bob and kimberly
Last Found Jan 1 2010
Hike Distance?

This box has a hand carved stamp, bring your own stamp pad.

This box is located on The Rock Island Arsenal. To get there from Iowa, go across the Arsenal Bridge. You can either go to the right and park by the little park or you can go left through the guard shack and park in the parking lot for the visitor center on the left.
From Rock Island, youíll have to go through the guard shack by the bridge to be able to park in the lot, or to get turned around to park by the little park.

To visit the visitor center, you have to drive through the guard shack and park in the lot. I suggest taking time to visit this interesting place thatís all about the River and the lock and dam system and barge traffic. Itís very interesting. However, if you park on the street next to the little park, you can still walk down under the Arsenal Bridge, and thatís the focus I wanted to bring you to.

The Arsenal Bridge was built in 1896, so itís 110 years old. Itís the only swing span bridge left in the world that still accommodates auto, train, boat and pedestrian traffic. Thereís also a massive supply of power crossing over the bridge via the power lines over the very top. The road bed at one time was a trolley track and the railroad bed above it was built so the trains wouldnít scare the horses.

Take a walk under the bridge and check out the mechanics. Other than the addition of hydraulics and some electronics, this bridge still runs the way it did 110 years ago. I hope youíre lucky enough to be here when a barge passes through and you get to see the bridge open. Itís worth waiting to see.

To find the letterbox: Go to Fort Armstrong in the little park. Find the cornerstone and read the dates. The box is hidden on the 1916 side. Sit on the railroad tie steps and reach behind and to your left, under the step.

Please be discreet as this is a Government Island and even though this park is civilian, I donít know how they would feel about letterboxing. I took a chance because I think everyone should take time to notice the Arsenal Bridge, and not just drive over it.