Passing on from Latourelle Falls, and the pretty three-arch concrete bridge, at an elevation of 155 feet, we follow closely the general direction eastward, on easy lines and almost level grades, for a distance of 1.22 miles and reach Shepperd's Dell, one of the best of all the beautiful spots to be seen on this highway.
Its existence was known to but very few, even in the immediate vicinity, before the road was built. Its discovery came only when it seemed impossible to get by the point of a high mountain in no other way.
On leaving Latourelle the old county road climbed up the side of the mountain by heavy grades and hairpin turns, reaching an elevation of 555 feet (just about the height of the Washington Monument) before it turned and came down again on the other side by many a bend and crook. The side of the mountain was rugged and steep, and at its base was the main line track of a great railway reaching to Chicago.
Studying the face of these cliffs from all angles, it seemed possible to find a way 140 feet above the railroad by bridging a narrow gorge, and laying the line snug and close against the cliffs at the top of a talus slope, formed in by-gone ages through the action of heat and frost, breaking away the face of the solid rock which towered above.
Accurate surveys showed this to be the best location, being the most direct route possible, with no grades to speak of, between the bridge at Latourelle, elevation of 155 feet, and this point at Shepperd's Dell, elevation 170 feet.
The Shepperd's Dell bridge is 135 above the stream, which is spanned with a reinforced concrete arch 100 feet in length, the total length from end to end being 150 feet. (Lancaster, 1914 62)