The Goshen Road was one of the earliest roads in Clinton County and was traveled by its first settlers. The original road was blazed by wild animals and Native Americans. The first record of its use, however, was in 1808 when its course was mapped by the early pioneers of Southern Illinois.
The early settlers of Illinois used it to travel from the Saline salt works near Shawneetown to the Goshen Settlement near present day Edwardsville. The road entered the county in the southeast corner near Centralia and traveled in a northwesterly direction. The Goshen Road crossed the Kaskaskia River at the General Dean Suspension Bridge at Carlyle and then merged with the Vincennes Trace, another major road in the history of Clinton County. The two roads continued together through Frogtown and across a toll bridge on Shoal Creek, north of Breese. After crossing the creek, the two roads split, with the Goshen Road exiting Clinton County in the northwest corner.
The General Dean Suspension Bridge was constructed between 1859 and 1861 at a cost of about $46,000. Travelers had previously crossed the Kaskaskia River on a ferry or mud bridge, but growing demands for a bridge across the river sparked its construction. The contract for the building of the bridge was given to Griffith D. Smith of Pennsylvania. The contract specified
that the bridge would be durable and the and the span from the thirty-five foot towers would be 280 ft. For sixty-five years the General Dean Suspension Bridge was the means by which the Goshen Road crossed the Kaskaskia River. Although the bridge fell into disrepair when U.S. Route 50 was built just three hundred feet down stream, funds were acquired in 1951, and the bridge was renovated.
Although the Goshen Road is no longer in existence and its exact route is unknown, it is still visible through some land formations and historical monuments, such as the General Dean Suspension Bridge. These are reminders of the importance of the Goshen Road, and its contributions to the early settlement of Clinton County.