A shallow creek meanders through a snow covered park landscape.
Hoover Creek in winter

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Location:
West Branch, Iowa
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
No

The South Downey Street Bridge extends across a tributary of the West Branch of the Wapsinonoc Creek. When Herbert Hoover was a boy, it was just a small stream of water trickling through marshy wetlands. Young Herbert and the neighborhood kids took their willow fishing poles about a quarter mile east to catch sunfish and catfish in the main creek. 

In March 1875, the citizens of West Branch petitioned Cedar County to build "a bridge on Downey Street, near Jesse Hoover's blacksmith shop" so wagons could get across the creek. Twice constructed out of wood, it was finally rebuilt in 1917 as a steel beam and concrete span. 

Last updated: November 18, 2018