Cottage Grove, Oregon is a town just off of I-5 and we’ve
stopped to stay at a small RV park there several times over the years. We’d never spent time there other than an
overnight stay so knew very little about the area. I happened to read that it had several
covered bridges in the area so that changed my whole idea of Cottage Grove for
our next visit.
|RV park in bloom|
We stayed in our favorite small RV Park on arrival with the
intent of staying for two nights in order to be able to visit all the covered
bridges in the area. The sun was shining
and the blossoms were in bloom which is not the norm when we visit, usually at
a different time of year but makes for a perfect day today.
|Currin Bridge Built 1925|
I am not sure why, but I find these old covered bridges
worth visiting and photographing. They
are not a common sight in our part of the country, we’d seen them while
visiting Eastern Canada but saw very few otherwise and perhaps that is
why. Whatever my fascination is about, I
took pictures of all of them while Keith patiently drove me all around this
area in Oregon.
|Mosby Creek Bridge Built in 1920|
There is really very little difference between them other
than their name and slight changes in construction. Some have windows, others have not and then
some had shutters, making it more attractive.
Some are still in use for vehicles while others are only for foot
traffic. No matter, they are all interesting and have their own charm.
|Stewart Bridge 1930|
There seems to be several possible reasons why covered
bridges were covered. They did protect
the wooden bridges from deteriorating too quickly. They added support to the structure to
maintain the safety for longer. It was
even considered better when herding cattle across so they were not frightened
by the moving water below. Whichever
reason, they all sound possible to me.
|Unity Bridge 1936|
Our visit to Cottage Grove was at the beginning of March so
the trees were only beginning to show new life but the sunshine and locations
made for a fun photo shoot day. These
are country roads well off of the main highway so it took a bit of map reading
to find them all but we seemed to cover a lot of ground and found several. I am sure it would have been easier with a tour map but this was fun.
|Pengra Bridge Orig. built in 1890|
All of the bridges found in Lane County have been
rehabilitated or restored and became safe to cross whether by foot, bicycle or
vehicle. The grants from Oregon Covered
Bridge Program helped fund restoration for most if not all of the Covered
Bridges in the area.
|Dorena Covered Bridge 1949|
The Dorena Covered Bridge, crosses over the Row River and the
road ends here at a small park with amenities where people often gather for
weddings and events. The Dorena
Reservoir was engineered in 1946 and therefor the bridge needed to be built to
give access to the Star Ranch, which led to the bridge often referred to as the
Star Bridge, as well. The townsite of
Dorena was then moved due to the Reservoir.
|Centennial Bridge 1987|
Within Cottage Grove town, they have a foot bridge that is
called the Centennial Bridge built in 1987 to celebrate the 100th anniversary
of Cottage Grove. Volunteers used
recycled timber from two other bridges.
This bridge rests on abutments from an earlier Main St. Bridge and spans
|Chambers Covered Railway Bridge Built in 1925|
The last train passed thru the Chambers Bridge in 1951.
It became a danger to collapsing so was
rebuilt in 2010 to be the only remaining covered railway bridge in Oregon and
at that time, one of only eight left in the entire U.S.
We enjoyed our day of touring the covered bridges of Lane
County in historic Cottage Grove, Oregon.
The 48 km (30 mi) loop around the Dorena Reservoir connects them.
This is the largest collection of covered
bridges west of the Mississippi River, including the only remaining railroad
covered bridge and they are all visited by many history buffs each year.