Theorosa's Bridge


The story of Theorosa's Bridge.

Valley Center is a small town just outside of Wichita, Kansas. This sleepy town began to come to life in 1872 when settlers put down roots along the Little Arkansas River. It wasn’t long before the town needed amenities for every day life and the town soon included a post office, three stores, two blacksmith shops, a grain elevator, and several homes. This small town today holds a population that barely reaches five thousand residents and it is mostly used by those that work in Wichita and need a home close by. However, the town does still attract its share of tourists and this is mainly for one reason – for Theorosa’s Bridge. The famous bridge is sometimes also called Crybaby Bridge or 109th Street Bridge. The bridge is a route for those travelling to get across Jester Creek below it.

It’s thought that tourists like to come see the bridge for themselves and try to decipher the true story. There are many legends about the bridge and what has happened to it in the past but one thing in every legend always remains the same. This is the bridge where a baby was either taken from its mother or it fell and drowned in the creek below.

One legend is that of settlers that were coming into town in the early 1900s. According to the legend, the settlers were attacked by Indians and a baby named Theorosa was kidnapped. The mother, extremely distraught, chased after the kidnappers but her efforts were in vain as she quickly lost them. Over the years she searched for her missing daughter but never found her. It’s said that the woman still roams the bridge and can be heard calling and wailing for her missing children.

Another story claims that an Indian tribe took up residence along the banks of the creek when they came into battle with the cavalry. An Indian woman was stabbed in this story and her baby fell into the creek and drowned.

Another tale that stems from the name Theorosa is that this is actually the name of a young woman who had a baby out of wedlock. To hide from her shame, she drowned the baby in Jester Creek but found she couldn’t live with the guilt. She is said to have drowned herself in the same creek not too long after drowning the baby.

The last story claims that Theorosa is a woman that was engaged to one man but in love with another. She became pregnant and birthed a child with her lover. When her fiancÚ discovered the truth, he was enraged and threw the baby over the bridge so that the baby would drown. Theorosa was rightfully horrified and she went into the creek to save her child. She however died instead.

Whichever the true story is, the fact that hauntings still take place on the bridge are undoubtedly true. It’s said that one can see bright orbs and a figure of a woman on and around the bridge. Many different cars have stalled for no apparent reason while they have been crossing the bridge and when they do stall, the car shakes violently. Cold breezes that seem to have no explanation often sweep across the bridge and many have heard the wailing cries of a woman or the heartbreaking cries of a baby. People also say that the weather on the bridge is always different from the weather in the areas around the bridge. Legend also has it that if you stand on the bridge and call out to Theorosa, telling her that you have her baby, she will emerge from the water and attack you.

The original bridge was made from iron and wood. It burned down mysteriously in 1974 and was rebuilt only to be struck down by fire once again in 1976. Many said at the time that it was Theorosa, wanting no reminder of the baby she lost. Perhaps because of those rumors, the bridge remained shut down for fifteen years. The bridge was rebuilt in 1991 and a concrete bridge went up in its place. That is the bridge that still stands there today.

Theorosa's Bridge

Theorosa's Bridge

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