Bridgeport's Glimpse Back - April 2012
The history of the South Yuba River State Park began to flourish with the 49er Gold Rush. This search for gold on the South Yuba River was called “Placer Mining,” which translates to looking for loose gold in or near the river. In the past miners used gold pans and sluice boxes to separate the gold from dirt and rock. Under the intense heat of sun, mining was back-breaking, hard work that could possibly lead to finding an ounce of gold in a week. It was a difficult existence at best.
In 1862 after heavy rains destroyed five smaller bridges that crossed the South Yuba River, David Wood built the covered bridge at Bridgeport. This beautiful bridge at 229’ is the longest single-span wooden covered bridge in existence. Built with heavy timber trusses, the covered bridge uses vertical iron rods to reinforce the solid structure. During its time it could support 15 tons, far exceeding its nearest “competition.” In addition to serving the northern gold fields of California, the Virginia Turnpike and its covered bridge became the main route for the heavy freight wagons on their way to the silver mines in Virginia City, Nevada.
Like this story? Want more like it? Subscribe now, CLICK HERE