Historic Bridges & Calaboose

Henderson Crossing Bridge at Skate Park

Now resting at Rockdale’s Skate Park, the Henderson Crossing Bridge once spanned over Brushy Creek 10 miles west of this location.  It is believed that the bridge received its name from the Henderson property that it divided at the Brushy Creek crossing location.  The Henderson Crossing Bridge was built in 1901 by the George F. King Bridge Company. Its specific design is called a Pin-Connected, Warren Pony Truss Bridge, and is one of 29 surviving in the state.  It spans 64 feet (with its original approaches it had been 94 feet in length) and has a deck width of 12 feet.  The Henderson Crossing Bridge was moved from County Road 434 to Skate Park in 2002, after being replaced by a concrete slab bridge in 2001.  The old bridge was eligible for the National Register until it was removed from the site, but Rockdale is proud to have preserved this bit of history.

Galbreath Bridge at Bridge Park

The Galbreath Bridge was once located on CR 240, just north of the Cameron Airport, spanning across Big Elm Creek.  This Bedstead Truss Bridge is estimated to have been built circa 1912 by the El Paso Bridge & Iron Company and has a span of 70 feet.  As part of a historic preservation project, the Galbreath Bridge was reclaimed from a field and relocated to Rockdale’s Bridge Park in 2015, after the bridge had been replaced by modern bridge in 1988.

Sheckels Bridge at Bridge Park

Also now residing at Rockdale’s Bridge Park is the Sheckels Bridge which once spanned the San Gabriel River at CR 429A.  The Sheckels Bridge was built in 1923 by JF Brown and is a Metal 5 Panel Bolt Connected Warren Pony Truss bridge.  The bridge is over 13 feet wide and has a main span length of 79 feet and a structure length of 134 feet.  The Sheckels Bridge was relocated to Bridge Park in 2015 after being replaced by a modern bridge in 2003.

These and others historic bridges located in and around Rockdale, are featured in the book Historic Bridges of Milam County by area resident authors David Galbreath, Carolyn Temple, Lucile Estell and Joy Graham.

Historic Calaboose at Bridge Park

The century-old Calaboose at Bridge Park is originally from Burlington, Texas in northern Milam County.  The term “calaboose” comes from the Spanish “calabozo” which means “jail, dungeon, or cell” and was used to describe small structures used as jails throughout Texas and the United States until the early 20th century.  This calaboose is representative of the one which existed in Rockdale in the early 1900’s.  Rockdale’s Calaboose was located downtown near Bell and Ackerman.  This historic structure was graciously donated by Billy and Frances Prescott of Burlington, who were insistent that the calaboose be preserved.  As more of these unique buildings disappear, the few that remain are an important.  The Burlington calaboose is one of four still standing in the county.