I jumped the gun recently in making an Ebay purchase. I read the description of the item a little too quickly and fixated on “north of Carthage, Illinois” and “Long Creek Bridge.” I grew up north of Long Creek and have crossed it many times. In fact, it ran along what we called the “bottom” where my father pastured cattle. I saw the postcard and the bridge and purchased it.
I jumped the gun just a little bit.
When I looked more closely, there were clues this was not the bridge in which I had an interest:
- The description said “Northeast of Carthage.” The bridge I was thinking of was directly north of Carthage.
- While the picture was taken 60 years before my first memories, the approach on the left hand side did not match my recollection at all.
- The horse and wagon on the left side of the bridge gave an idea of how tall the bridge is. The bridge I remember was taller than this one–quite a bit taller.
- The geography does not look right. The creek bed and surrounding area is too flat. The bridge I’m thinking of was essentially at the bottom of a steeper hill than what is shown in the photograph.
A reminder about assumptions as well here. For some reason I thought the picture was taken looking west. There’s nothing in the photograph to support that assumption either.
My best approach is to find a map as close to the 1910 era as possible and see if I can determine what other bridges over Long Creek were “northeast of Carthage.”
It’s still a neat postcard and I’m glad I purchased it. It was a relatively inexpensive reminder of a few things.