Covered Bridges

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Covered Bridges

When I planned to move to Oregon, finding covered bridged certainly were not on my mind. When I accidently ran across several I wondered how many were in Oregon. After doing some research I found there were around 600 covered bridges built in Oregon between 1905 and 1925. Today there are only 50 left. You will note some of these bridges dates are later than what I mentioned before, that is because these replaced prior bridges.
I have included the two North Carolina bridges I have photograph and at a later date will add the only Vermont bridge in my collection. I hope you enjoy these beautiful bridges.

Wildcat Creek Bridge
This bridge was built in 1925 in Lane County, near Walton, Oregon. The bridge is 75 feet long and crosses Wildcat Creek near its confluence with the Siuslaw River. We found this bridge quite by accident on a trip to the coast one day.

Office Bridge
The Office Bridge, also called Westfir Covered Bridge, is in Lane County, Oregon in Westfir. It crosses the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. It is the longest covered bridge in Oregon spanning the river by 180 feet. The separate pedestrian walkway make this bridge unique as it is the only one built like this west of the Mississippi. This bridge replaced a 1941 bridge washed away in a flood. In1944 the Westfir Lumber Company built the bridge for their logging operation. In 2003 a small park was constructed on the north side of the bridge, the bridge had been out of use before. The town of Westfir festively decorates the bridge with lights for Christmas.

Lowell Bridge
The original Lowell Bridge was built in 1907 to replace a ferry operated by a settler on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. The current bridge was built in 1945 after a truck damaged the bridge enough to be replaced. Lowell Bridge is the widest in Oregon. In 1953 the bridge was raised 6 feet due to the construction Dexter Dam on the river creating Dexter Lake.

Goodpasture Bridge
The Goodpasture Covered Bridge was built in 1938 and was named for Benjamin Franklin Goodpasture. Crossing the McKenzie River the bridge is 165 feet long and is the second longest covered bridge in Oregon.

Gallon House Bridge
The Gallon House Bridge is Oregon’s oldest covered bridge still in use. It was built in 1916 in Marion County, Oregon. The name came from the gallons of prohibition liquor sold from nearby stills. People from the area called the bridge the Gallon House. The bridge was restored in 1964 after a flood Christmas Day swept the bridge off of its footings.

Shimanek Bridge
The Shimanek Bridge is a covered bridge is in Linn County, Oregon. The bridge is 130 feet long and was completed in 1966. This bridge replaced the bridge damaged on October 8, 1962. The prior bridge was built in 1927. Three other bridges had been built at this location before; the first may have dated to 1861.

A friend mentioned they wanted to see the interior of a covered bridge to see the wood planking that goes klunkity-klunk when you drive through the bridge. I mention I had one in mind, but to my surprise when I was editing the photograph is the boards are running parallel not perpendicular as I usually see on a wooden bridge. I didn’t really notice when I was photographing it as the road was a busy one an I was paying attention to traffic. What did catch my attention were the spots of different colored light coming in through the roof.


Pisgah Covered Bridge
Located in Randolph County, North Carolina the bridge spans the west fork of the Little River. This is one of two remaining original covered bridges in NC. Built in 1911 for a cost of $40 it is 54 feet in length. The bridge was washed away in a storm on August 9, 2003 and rebuilt in 2004 using much of the same wood as the original bridge. You will note in my 1973 photograph of the bridge it has a tin roof. Originally the bridge may have had a shingle roof so in the restoration the roof was changed to reflect that.

Bunker Hill Covered Bridge
In 1894 the Catawba County Commissioners asked the family who owned Bunker Hill Farm to build and maintain a bridge crossing Lyle Creek. It was on an old Indian trail which had become the old Island Ford Road. Originally the bridge was open the 91 foot roof was added in 1900, then in 1921, it’s the original wooden shingle roof was replaced with a tin roof. The bridge was owned by a family until 1985 when they donated it to the Catawba County Historical Association. The association restored the bridge in 1994.

I will be adding more as I photograph them, I hope you enjoy these.

Matt