Sugar Creek (Sangamon River tributary)

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Sugar Creek
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge.JPG
Basin features
Main source Sangamon County southeast of Waverly, Illinois
39°32′37″N 89°55′11″W / 39.543661°N 89.9198269°W / 39.543661; -89.9198269 (Sugar Creek (Sangamon River) origin)
River mouth Confluence with the Sangamon east of Springfield, Illinois
518 ft (158 m)
39°48′40″N 89°32′33″W / 39.8111609°N 89.5425962°W / 39.8111609; -89.5425962 (Sugar Creek (Sangamon River) mouth)Coordinates: 39°48′40″N 89°32′33″W / 39.8111609°N 89.5425962°W / 39.8111609; -89.5425962 (Sugar Creek (Sangamon River) mouth)
Progression Sugar Creek → Sangamon → Illinois → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Physical characteristics
Length 53 mi (85 km)
GNIS ID 419267

Sugar Creek, a tributary of the Sangamon River, is a large creek in central Illinois, United States. It rises in Talkington Township in southwestern Sangamon County, flows briefly through northeastern Macoupin County, and then runs northeastward through south-central Sangamon County before discharging into Lake Springfield. The creek drains Auburn and Virden, Illinois and has a total length of 52.8 miles (85.0 km).[1]

Historic interest[edit]

Sugar Creek, during early historic times, offered a habitat for one of the southernmost groves of sugar maples in Illinois Territory. This fact, and the fertility of the surrounding prairie land, made the Sugar Creek drainage a focus of interest for early American pioneers immediately after the end of the War of 1812. A six-member kinship group led by Robert Pulliam built homestead cabins on the creek in 1817 near what is now the unincorporated suburban village of Glenarm. Many pioneers followed Pulliam's group to Sugar Creek in the 1820s and following years, helping to settle central Illinois and building a community of primarily southern heritage.[2]

In 1880, township authorities built a Burr arch covered bridge, the Sugar Creek Covered Bridge, going east-west over Sugar Creek near the site of the original sugar maple grove and Robert Pulliam's long-vanished cabin. The covered bridge has a span of 60 feet (18 m). As of 2008, the covered bridge is one of only four original covered bridges remaining in Illinois, although it has been rebuilt several times. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[3]

Other streams[edit]

According to the U.S. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) there are 34 streams bearing the name Sugar Creek in the state of Illinois.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 13, 2011
  2. ^ Faragher, John Mack (1988). Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-04263-4. 
  3. ^ National Register of Historic Places: Illinois - Sangamon County (accessed September 22, 2007)