|Currin Bridge built in 1925, restored in 1995. (Julianne G. Crane)|
Cottage Grove, in central western Oregon, is said to be the "Covered Bridge Capital of the West." With more than 50 covered bridges in Oregon, 20 are in Lane County and six of those are within a few minutes of downtown Cottage Grove.
"Lane County was the first Oregon county to build covered bridges on a large scale and currently maintains more than any other county west of the Mississipp," according to CottageGrove.net.
Why so many covered bridges? According to several sources, it is because western Oregon is rich with timber and people built wooden bridges and then covered them to order to keep them from rotting away as quickly in the Northwest’s damp and rainy weather. Roofs and sides help extend a bridge's lifespan from about 8-10 to 30-50 years.
|Dorena Bridge. (Julianne G. Crane)|
The Currin Bridge (top photo) spans 105 feet over the Row River. Constructed in 1925 and rehabilitated in the mid-1990s, this currently pedestrian-only bridge stands on the site of a bridge built in 1883.
A personal favorite is the Dorena Bridge, six miles east of downtown Cottage Grove on the far end of the Dorena Reservoir. "Constructed in 1949 for $16,547, the 105 foot long bridge" was restored in 1996. It is a picturesque site popular with tourists and for weddings. There are restroom facilities here with a nice-size parking lot for RVs.
|RVer Malia Lane reads about Chambers Bridge history (Julianne G. Crane)|
|Centennial Bridge Cottage Grove, Ore. (Julianne G. Crane)|
"Materials came from two Lane County bridges that had been demolished. It rests on abutments of the old Main Street Bridge, which stood until the 1950s."
For more information:
- Click on: Covered Bridges of Cottage Grove, Oregon
- For Covered Bridge Tour map, click here.
- Cottage Grove: Exit 174 off I-5 (South of Eugene)
- Tour time: Plan on 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- For information on local RV parks go to RVWheelLife.com
-- Text and photos by Julianne G. Crane
To read more about the RV Lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane and Jimmy Smith, go to RVWheelLife.com