The unincorporated village of Bernadotte lies four miles north of Ipava on the Spoon River. Bernadotte has the distinction of having once been considered as the site for the capitol of Illinois prior to the capitol being located at Vandalia. Until the early 1940s, Bernadotte had a population of about four hundred people when it was razed, with the exception of one building, to become part of the Camp Ellis training camp during World War II. The population of Bernadotte at the present is well under one hundred persons.
Bernadotte is the location of the only dam on the Spoon River. The dam was erected by U.S. Army Engineers to impound water for Camp Ellis. The dam is still a favored fishing site for area fishermen. The dam is pictured here to the right.
The iron bridge at Bernadotte is one of the few iron bridges still standing in Midwestern Illinois. The bridge was built and placed into service in 1910 replacing a covered bridge that once crossed the Spoon River at Bernadotte. The iron bridge at Bernadotte has been closed to vehicular traffic for a number of years, but still remains a major attraction for residents and visitors to Spoon River country. The bridge is pictured to the left.
Bernadotte is home to a number of small businesses and is an important part of the V.I.T. School Community. A view of the main street of Bernadotte including the village's restaurant is shown to the right.
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