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Simpson Bridge


Simpson Bridge

Photo courtesy of: Wagon Wheels, Colusi County Historical Society

Photo submitted by Craig Philpott

BH Photo #220258


The Newville Road was a major east-west route between the northern foothill community of Newville (settled in the 1850s) and the landing at Monroeville on the Sacramento River. Goods came to the north valley by steamboats and the products from the mixed farming in the foothills were shipped to markets down river. Because the road crossed Stony Creek and ran through the property of Noah Simpson (1821-1893), the bridge when built in 1883 would become known as the Simpson Bridge. The bridge had steel trusses, wood stringers, a wooden deck and with approaches was 1,130 feet long. Being only 15 feet wide, the narrow roadway “led to anxious moments for motorists and teamsters” and it “never looked wide enough for two vehicles to meet and pass on it, but it was, just barely.” On December 6, 1962, the County of Glenn gave notice that the 79 year old Simpson Bridge would be sold at public auction on December 17th. At the appointed time, Supervisor John Fiack acted as auctioneer and conducted the auction “as a cluster of prospective bidders stood in the rain on the courthouse steps.” Opening the sale, Fiack requested an opening bid of at least $100 but “instead got an offer from an unidentified stranger to ‘Get rid of it for you if you’ll pay me $1,200.’” The winning bid was $1,000 by Ed Kivett of Lone Pine, CA who was representing Tetherington Trucking Company, Tulare. Located 12 miles west of Orland, the Simpson Bridge was removed as part of the preparations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Black Butte Reservoir. Gone too was the warning sign on the historic bridge that read “Break It, and You’ll Pay for It.” Courtesy of Gene Russell, Colusi County Historical Society


Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Stony Creek on Newville Road
Glenn County, California
Built 1883
Pratt through truss
Total length: 1,130.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Also called
Newville Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.77748, -122.36272   (decimal degrees)
39°46'39" N, 122°21'46" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/554574/4403254 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Black Butte Dam
450 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 50180 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (8,316)
Built 1883 (175)
Built during 1880s (2,162)
California (2,710)
Glenn County, California (19)
Lost (28,382)
Lost 1962 (87)
Lost during 1960s (919)
Pony truss (17,004)
Pratt pony truss (3,947)
Pratt through truss (6,045)
Pratt truss (10,280)
Through truss (16,709)
Total length 1000-2500 feet (1,991)
Truss (35,375)

Update Log 

  • November 13, 2011: Added by Craig Philpott