Weddle Covered Bridge 37-22-05
Weddle Covered Bridge
Photo taken by Michael Goff in June 2011
BH Photo #204692
The Weddle Covered Bridge is a typical example of Linn Countyís open-sided covered bridges. Many Linn County residents believed that this bridge was lost forever when it was yanked apart by workers in October 1987. The bridge had spanned Thomas Creek for 50 years. It was bypassed in 1980 by a concrete bridge downstream, and neglected.
The deteriorated bridge eventually became a safety issue, and the span was scheduled to be demolished. This action sparked protests by local covered bridge enthusiasts. As the story goes, one person chained himself to a bulldozer to prevent the bridgeís demise.
The covered bridge enthusiasts engaged Senator Mae Yih, a local legislator who became a leader in saving Oregonís covered bridges. Through her efforts, the Oregon legislature created the Oregon Covered Bridge Program which helped fund covered bridge maintenance and rehabilitation projects throughout the state. The Weddle Bridge became the first covered bridge project to receive grants under that program.
In 1989, a Sweet Home group known as the Cascade Forest Resource Center was formed to rebuild the Weddle Bridge across Ames Creek in Sankey Park. Much of the planning to rebuild the bridge was done with assistance from the Jordan Bridge Company, the group which rebuilt the Jordan Bridge in Stayton. Additional fundraising was inspired by the Jordan group and the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon.
Because of this grass-roots funding effort, coupled with community dedication, the Weddle Bridge restoration became a big success. In addition to the historic value, the bridge is the site for weddings and community events and now stands as an example of what can be done to preserve Oregonís covered bridges.
(Reference: Roofs Over Rivers, by Bill and Nick Cockrell)
Locations of the Weddle Covered Bridge
Written by Michael Goff
The Weddle Covered Bridge located in Linn County, Oregon was originally built over Thomas Creek on Kelly Road a few miles west of Scio, Oregon.
When the bridge began to show signs of deterioration a new concrete bridge was placed a short distance downstream and the covered bridge was closed to vehicles.
In 1987 the bridge had a localized failure in the bottom chord and had to be removed by the county. Through the graces of local residents the bridge was salvaged and relocated to Sankey Park in Sweet Home in 1990.
Google Map showing the two locations of the Weddle Covered Bridge
- Covered Howe through truss bridge over Ames Creek on Park Path
- Sweet Home, Linn County, Oregon
- Open to pedestrians
- Built 1937 over Thomas Creek, Removed 1987, Rebuilt 1990 in Sweet Home
- The Weddle Covered Bridge is a single span covered timber Howe through truss. The 120-foot span features wide open sides in the housing that leave the timber truss members exposed, which was very common among Linn County covered bridges.
There are two primary reasons for this open truss design. The main reason for this design is to allow light into the bridge, so the travelers can see while crossing the span. Another reason this design is utilized was to allow drivers sight lines on and off of the bridge. This helped in reducing accidents and allowed motorist a view of the stream from the bridge.
The portal opening design incorporates an arched opening along with exposed false roof beams that add an accent to the opening. The bridge was built by Linn County over Thomas Creek near Scio in 1937, before being removed and relocated to Sweet Home in 1990.
Span length: 120.0 ft.
Total length: 120.0 ft.
- Also called
- Thomas Creek Covered Bridge
Ames Creek Covered Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +44.39460, -122.72660 (decimal degrees)
44°23'41" N, 122°43'36" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 10/521774/4915737 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Sweet Home
- Inventory numbers
- NRHP 79002114 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 48401 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- April 9, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
- March 10, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Updated NRHP status, added street view & imported photos
- July 21, 2011: New photos from Michael Goff
- July 20, 2011: Essay added by Michael Goff
- March 10, 2011: Added by Michael Goff