The falls and bridge at the north side of Cottonwood Falls in Chase County is a nice place for a short break or picnic. The adjacent Bates Grove Park provides parking, tables and grills. Or pick up a meal to go at Emma Chase Cafe a few blocks away near the Chase County Courthouse.
The first dam at this site was constructed of cottonwood logs in 1860. It provided water power for a saw and grist mill. In 1906 the dam was expanded and used to generate electricity. The present dam is constructed from cut limestone which was later covered with concrete.
The first major bridge at Cottonwood Falls was a 150 foot long iron truss bridge constructed in 1872. The present bridge was constructed in 1914 by the Missouri Valley Bridge Company of Leavenworth, Kansas for $13,700. It is one of only 3 remaining reinforced masonry, earth filled arch bridges that were designed by Daniel B. Luten. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The community also has some interesting stores and galleries along Broadway between the bridge and courthouse.