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Blooming Grove Town Hall

Fair Oaks Village Hall

Hiestand School

Lowell Elementary School

Nichols School

St. Bernard's Church

Spring Haven Pagoda


Frank Allis Farm

Nathaniel Dean Home

Femrite Farms

George Kalbfleish Farm

George Nichols Farm

Fred Schleuter Farm

William Schultz Farm

William Witte Round Barn



Chet Clarke House

Philo Dunning House

Charles Fix House

Knute Reindahl House

Simeon Mills House

Edward Riley House

John Sachs House

Otto Schroeder House

Stang-Wirth House

Alexander Smith House

Cora Cadwallader Tuttle


Adolph Wagner House

Walterscheit House


Eastwood Theater

Ernie's Trading Post

Schlitz Hotel

Tonyawatha Springs Hotel


French Battery & Carbon Co.

Hoffman-Kennedy Dairy

Horse Barn

Madison-Kipp Co.

United States Sugar Co.


Black Bridge

Interurban Trolley

Royal Airport

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Photograph of Black Bridge

Bridge Road

One of Monona's historic structures, remembered not for its beauty, but because it gave its name to an area known as a center for pleasure seekers, was the Black Bridge. To area residents who date back to prohibition days in the 1920's, the bridge has had many meanings. It was well known not only because it was that area's only route across the Yahara River, but also because of the bootleggers, dancing girls, and other shady characters who congregated in the speakeasies of that area. Many Madisonians would frequent the Black Bridge establishments in the 1920s. It was said that when seeking nighttime entertainment all one had to do was give a Madison cab driver $.25 and he would head out an old country road. This "country road" is now the well traveled southeast route of Olin Avenue, John Nolen Drive and the South Beltline. Since it was then illegal to buy or sell liquor, this area became so seedy that when Monona was incorporated, the new village board considered painting the bridge white in hopes of changing the reputation of the Black Bridge area.

Preceded by a wooden structure, the bridge was fabricated by the Iowa Iron Company in 1904 and formally opened in 1905. It was built like a railroad trestle, with overhead supports. As the years passed, cars and trucks were built heavier and the bridge could not accommodate the increased weight and traffic. The site was originally a crossing for two Indian trails that forded the Badfish or Yahara River.

Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society