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Lost Creek Covered Bridge 37-15-03

Photos 

Lost Creek Covered Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff in September 2011

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BH Photo #216871

Map 

Description 

The Lost Creek Bridge, at 39 feet, is the shortest of all Oregon covered bridges. Since 1979, the structure has been closed to traffic with a concrete span handling the few vehicles each day.

Many Jackson County residents, including Shirley Stone, daughter of pioneer John Walch, claim the Lost Creek Bridge to have been built as early as 1878-1881. If authenticated, this would make it Oregon's oldest standing covered bridge. Johnny Miller, the builder of the Lost Creek Bridge, also roofed the nearby span at Lake Creek in the 1880s, thus lending credence to a sign nailed on the bridge: LOST CREEK BRIDGE, BUILT ABOUT 1881. The span may have been partially or totally rebuilt in 1919, hence the official construction date in that year.

Features of the bridge include the usual county Queenpost design, a shingle roof and flying buttress braces. The rough wooden flooring consists of diagonal planking, and hand hewn truss members provide structural stability. A new roof was installed by local residents in 1985. Portal boards were added in 1986, restoring the look of the span in 1920 before accommodations were made for log truck traffic.

The Walch Memorial Wayside Park abuts the bridge site. Descendants of John and Marie Newsome Walch built and maintain the park, which includes picnic tables, a bandstand, cooking areas, an early 1900s outhouse, and manicured flower gardens.

The bridge was nearly lost in the 1964 Christmas flood. As swirling waters and heavy debris lashed at its piers,residents and concerned bridge enthusiasts prayed during the night that the bridge would be saved. According to a local newspaper, the skies opened and the water receded as morning came. The journalist questioned, "Was the bridge saved by prayer?"

(Reference: Roofs Over Rivers, by Bill and Nick Cockrell)

Facts 

Overview
Queenpost through truss bridge over Lost Creek on Abandoned Roadway in Lakecreek
Location
Lakecreek, Jackson County, Oregon
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Original Built 1881, Rebuilt 1919
Design
Housed timber Queenpost truss
Dimensions
Span length: 39.0 ft.
Total length: 39.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1989
Also called
Lakecreek Covered Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.38014, -122.57950   (decimal degrees)
42°22'49" N, 122°34'46" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/534616/4692069 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Lakecreek
Elevation
1400 ft. above sea level
Inventory numbers
NRHP 91000164 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 36791 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 10, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 9, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP info & imported photos
  • October 10, 2011: New photos from Michael Goff
  • February 16, 2011: New photo from Michael Goff
  • December 4, 2008: Updated by Michael Goff
  • July 2, 2008: Added by Michael Goff

Sources