I, too, grew up in Paradise. I loved the swimming hole at the Nelson Bar Bridge. However, the bridge was not used "until the day the lake took it." The steel girder bridge was dismantled and removed before the lake filled. When the lake is high enough, the waterway is navagable beyond the former location of the bridge. It would have become a major navigation hazzard.
During dry years, I have walked down to the bridge site of with boys. The deep swimming hole is completely silted in. The big rocks are only 10' high above the silt.
Thanks for this great link. I too grew up in Paradise (3rd grade to 8th grade; 1957-1963) and spent many a weekend summer day jumping from the bridge, swinging from the rope, and swimming with the fish. Sorry I don't have a picture either of the steel bridge. Glorious childhood memories. Included here is a Google satellite picture taken April 14, 2015 at low water. One can see where the road used to run under the present water line to the bridge. Cheers, Charles Morgan
Thanks for the picture of the original Nelson's Bar Bridge. However, it is not the same bridge that is now underwater at the confluence of the West Branch of the Feather River and Lake Oroville. The rebuilt bridge that went underwater was a steel truss designed bridge similar to the Gianella Bridge near Chico, CA. though much smaller. I remember people used to dive off the bridge and swing on ropes under it right up to when the Lake finally took it. There was a large swimming hole with a sandy beach and cliffs to dive from into the 15-20 foot deep pool. Sorry, I don't have a picture of it. It showed once when the Lake was down from drought one year and people had to be careful not to run their boats onto the top of it.
I GREW UP IN PARADISE IN THE 50'S AND IT WAS A FAVORITE MAKE OUT SPOT UP IN THE RAFTERS.I MISS THIS PLACE AND WILL ALWAYS TREASURE THE OLD MEMORIES FROM HERE