6 votes

Kukin Run Fruitcake Bridge


Photo provided by Scott Gavin

BH Photo #251971



Harold Palmer began construction of this unusual bridge in 1922 after receiving more than a dozen inedible fruitcakes during the holiday system. He has been quoted as saying that he began the project after thinking that there must be something the useless confectionary could be used for. The fruitcakes were compressed using a home-made vice, and dry fitted. The compressed cakes were found to be both waterproof and impervious to animal and insect infestation. "There was some concern recently that so much compressed fruitcake stacked tightly in so small a space might cause spontaneous cold fusion, but, fortunately, the bridge was completed before critical mass was reached." Quoted Prof. Alvin Hardbottle of University of Oregon when asked about this unusual structure.


Single-span arch bridge over Wash-and-Wear Creek
Eugene, Lane County, Oregon
Open to pedestrians only
Construction began 1922, completed 1959
- Harry Palmer (licensed hermit)
Only known bridge in the world to be constructed of compressed fruitcake
Span length: 55.7 ft.
Total length: 55.7 ft.
Deck width: 6.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.04424, -123.07391   (decimal degrees)
44°02'39" N, 123°04'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/494078/4876788 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Eugene East
Inventory number
BH 55950 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 17, 2017: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: Added category "Destroyed by Solar Eclipse"
  • April 1, 2013: Added by James Baughn based on a tip from Scott Gavin

Related Bridges 


Kukin Run Fruitcake Bridge
Posted April 2, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

After you visit this bridge, be sure to visit Michigan's rail-supported railroad bridge. http://www.historicbridges.org/other/davis/

Kukin Run Fruitcake Bridge
Posted April 2, 2013, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Per the 2011 inspection report the deck does get soggy and sticky during Oregon's rainy season from September to July. So make a visit in August and hope all the modern day hermits are fully dressed.

Plus, it only makes since that the hermits must be licensed in Lane County (Eugene), Oregon since they make such an effort to make them comfortable.

On that note, I guess I'm off to Eugene to inspect the fine bridges of Lane County. There is nothing like dancing with cars on the Beltline Highway to liven up ones Tuesday.

Kukin Run Fruitcake Bridge
Posted April 2, 2013, by Barry Lauver (bllauver [at] toad [dot] net)

April 1, huh? Nice try. Oh, do post a map!