Vincennes and the Cannonball Bridge 


We met on August 15th in the the Diamond Valley S&L parking lot for a drive to Vincennes, Indiana. Our drive would include a short dash into Illinois to allow us to explore a curious bit of century-old engineering.


We had a great turnout for the event. More people would meet us in Vincennes.

Eager to hit the road were new SIR member Rick Davenport (left) and long-time member Dave Hostetter.

Scott Klueh had mapped out our journey and would lead the drive.

It was a beautiful morning, just right for top-down motoring.

We drove north on good roads,...

... enjoying the Indiana countryside.

By 10:15 we were entering Illinois at Mt. Carmel.

From there, we drove further north to St. Francisville and found the toll booth that served as our gateway to the day's adventure.

The pavement followed a former railroad right-of-way headed toward the Wabash River.

It narrowed down to a single lane and onto a timber-covered approach span.

We were about to cross the Wabash Cannonball Bridge, erected in 1897 to carry railway traffic across the river.


The railroad sold the bridge to a farmer in 1927 who converted it to vehicular traffic as a toll bridge. It was sold to the Sate of Illinois in 1995.

Crossing was... interesting.

Here is a driver's view shot by Dale Fatland.

The bridge appeared to be in good shape and could certainly carry the weight of our cars,...

... but there was an excitement in the air...

... and perhaps a tiny sense of relief that we made it safely across.


Back in Indiana, it was a short distance to Vincennes and lunch.

A second-floor dining room was waiting for us at Pea-Fections,...


... as were Dr. Reginald Stanley and new SIR members JW and Martha Dollahan who own this lovely 356 we first saw at the D-Patrick grand opening.

This was the first SIR event for many people. Mark Roethemeier helped with introductions.

At this table (L-R), Gary Maier and Sharon Burks-Maier, Dr. Reginald Stanley, new members Gary and Rosie Stroud, and Martha and JW Dollahan.

Note that the wall decor featured mouth-watering photos of desserts. The food was quite good and many of us did order desserts.


After lunch, several couples visited the Indiana Military Museum.

Jeff and Debbie Jackson and Mike and Vicky Fox toured the exhibits in the main building.


We were surprised by the number of fascinating artifacts that were on display.

Outdoor exhibits included retired Air Force and Army weaponry.

We couldn't hear the conversation between Dawn and Phil Green, but wondered if she was reminding him that he already had a project vehicle in the garage and didn't need another.


The drive was a hit and will surely be repeated in future years. There is a lot to see and do in and around Vincennes.




©2015 Southern Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America