The Great Sauk Trail, which connected Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin, crossed the St. Joseph River at a shallow spot in this vicinity. Responding to the westward migration of pioneers, the federal government surveyed the trail and converted it into the Chicago Road
(presently U.S. 12) in 1825. The first Chicago Road bridge to cross the river near Mottville was a substantial timber structure constructed in 1833-34 by contractor Hart L. Stewart. A pile supported bridge replaced it in 1845. In 1867, Mahlon Thompson and Joseph Miller built a covered Burr arch truss. The ruin of its stone-block abutments are visible upstream from here, This three-span camelback bridge was built in 1922. In 1990 U.S. 12 was rerouted over a new bridge. The camelback bridge is now used for foot traffic.