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Tag Archive Evans Creek

Wimer Covered Bridge

The Wimer covered bridge is located just 2 miles Southwest of our farm, and is the only covered bridge in Jackson County still open to vehicle traffic. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Oregon, and has been a great source of pride and identification to the people of Evans Valley for as long as the old-timers can recall.

Located immediately adjacent to the Wimer Market, the bridge is a natural gathering place for locals to meet, and share the latest gossip. The bridge has become a symbol for Wimer known throughout the region. Local businesses often incorporate the bridge into their names and logos, such as Covered Bridge Realty, Covered Bridge Farms, etc.

The first instance of the bridge, which spans Evans Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River, was built by J. W. Osbourne in 1892.

A replacement, known locally as the “original bridge” was built in 1927, and heavily repaired again in 1962. Despite this maintenance, by the mid-1970s it was closed again. In 1985, it was re-opened with a 3-ton limit, where it continued to serve the community for another 18 years.

In 2003, the 1927 bridge finally collapsed while a man and his 2 grandsons were crossing on foot, leaving them trapped 40 feet below in the creek under collapsed timbers. Lucky, passersby from the Wimer Market, only a few feet from the North end of the bridge, heard the sounds of collapse and were able to rescue the victims in short order and without serious injury.

Wimer Covered Bridge – window into a living town straight out of the pages Oregon’s pioneer history.

Finally, in 2008, the bridge was replaced with a look-alike of the 1927 version, but using laminated beams and steel reinforced trusses, concrete approaches and industrial roofing.

Covered bridges such as this were once common throughout the Pacific Northwest, but as more and more of them fall prey to the ravages of time and the progress of modernity, it’s important to still stop and consider their important roles in the region’s history and the lives of those who relied on them.

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