Cottonwood Falls Dam & Bridge

Cottonwood Falls, Kansas

More Kansas Waterfalls
Cottonwood Falls Prairie Fire Festival

Cootonwood Falls Kansas Dam and Bridge
Turtle floating in the Cottonwood River
Cottonwood Falls Bridge and Dam
Cottonwood Falls Bridge and Dam from Highway 177 bridge in 2006.

The Cottonwood Falls and Bridge at the north side of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas is a nice place for a short break or picnic. The adjacent Bates Grove Park provides parking, tables and grills. Or pick up a meal to go at Emma Chase Cafe a few blocks away near the Chase County Courthouse.

The first dam at this site was constructed of cottonwood logs in 1860. It provided water power for a saw and grist mill. In 1906 the dam was expanded and used to generate electricity. The present dam is constructed from cut limestone which was later covered with concrete.

The first major bridge at Cottonwood Falls was a 150 foot long iron truss bridge constructed in 1872. The present bridge was constructed in 1914 by the Missouri Valley Bridge Company of Leavenworth, Kansas for $13,700. It is one of only 3 remaining reinforced masonry, earth filled arch bridges that were designed by Daniel B. Luten. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2007, the Cottonwood Falls Bridge had major restoration.

The community also has some interesting stores and galleries along Broadway between the bridge and courthouse.

Participants in Letterboxing North America will find a microbox at the bridge.

Cottonwood Falls Dam
View of Cottonwood Falls Dam from the bridge

Millstream Motel in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas
Millstream Motel and Resort

Cottonwood Falls Bridge
The 1914 Cottonwood Falls arch bridge in 2006.

new Cootonwood Falls Bridge
The improved 1914 Cottonwood Falls arch bridge in April, 2008.

Cottonwood River Dam
Cottonwood Dam waterfall during spring high water

Chase County Courthouse - Cottonwood Falls, Kansas
The 1873 French Renaissance Chase County Courthouse is the oldest Kansas Courthouse still in use.
Climb to the 3rd floor for the view, 10 AM - 2 PM, Monday - Friday.

Photos from this page were reprinted in the Winter, 2008 issue of Kansas Traveler.

Cottonwood Falls Prairie Fire Festival
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copyright 2006-2010 by Keith Stokes