Wayne County

How Golden Gate Got Its Name

Transcribed and submitted by Dianna Williams

I do not know if this is a true story or not but, it was told to me by several people in Wayne Co., IL area. I do wonder, more so since the 'original posts' for the bridge can be seen barely out of the ground.

There was a farmer that lived outside of Fairfield next to the river. Every time he left his property he had to travel quite a way north, cross over a bridge, to travel back south on the main road. One day while in town he applied for a building permit to build a bridge on the edge of his property to go over the river (also on his property) to the main road. Yes, he built a bridge and put up a locked gate so no one else could use it.

A few months later, after a a heavy rain fall, the neightbor next door asked if he could use the bridge. The owner thought about it and a few days later said, "You may use my bridge but you have to pay me to use it." Together they worked out when and how much the neighbor would use the bridge.

Then the word got out and soon everyone was coming to use the bridge. About 1 year later, the man retired, built a 'hut' on the bridge, and spent his days sitting there waiting for business, for this became the first 'toll bridge' in the area. Its name was 'the Golden Gate'.

Even if this is not a true story, it is a good example of the stories many of the 'old timers' enjoy telling.

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