Local Company Turning Steel Into Rides That Turn Stomachs

Published 06/15 2011 05:25PM

Updated 06/15 2011 05:51PM

Summer is a time to visit fairs and carnivals across the state, and the country.  No matter where you decide to hop on the rides, chances are a piece of Jacksonville will be there. 

The Morgan County town is the home of the Eli Bridge Company.  A company that has built and sold thousands of 'Eli Wheels' and Scramblers.  One of its wheels even made it to Michael Jackson's 'Neverland' amusement park.

"If you've ever been on a wheel with a benched seat, that's an Eli Wheel," says Patty Sullivan.  Her great grandfather started the Eli Bridge Company in the late 1800's.

"When we were growing up the threat of coal in our stockings wasn't much of a threat," Sullivan remembers, "But the threat of 'You won't get to test ride the next Scrambler,' now there was a threat that had some weight."

People in Jacksonville are well aware of the company's presence in town.  On the corner of one of Jacksonville's busiest intersections sits a 100 year Eli Wheel.  It's turned on every Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm for the community to enjoy.

Another Eli Wheel will soon be open to people in Central Illinois.  It will sit inside Springfield's new sporting good store, Scheels, which is set to open at the end of the month.

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