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Gallon House Covered Bridge 37-24-01

Photos 

Gallon House Covered Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on October 1, 2009

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BH Photo #147067

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

The Gallon House Bridge, the last of Marion County's original covered bridges, is located over Abiqua Creek a little more than a mile northwest of Silverton. The name Gallon House was due to the bridge's use as a "pigeon drop" for liquor at the north entrance. Operators at a liquor dispensary nearby sold "white lightening" whiskey by the gallon to Silverton residents. At the time, Silverton was "dry," not allowing liquor to be sold in town, while Mt. Angel was "wet." The Gallon House along Abiqua Creek was in Mt. Angel territory.

During the Christmas Flood of 1964, the bridge suffered considerable damage. The County Board of Commissioners, however, decided the bridge should be repaired and maintained as an historical landmark, as it was the only covered bridge in the county at the time.

In 1985, the old wooden structure was closed to all traffic when a damaged chord rendered it useless. County road crews repaired the bridge to accept traffic up to a 10-ton limit by reinforcing a lower chord, as well as making repairs to the beams and flooring. Also included in the renovation was a change in the size and shape of the portals. The revamped portals were hinged to allow them to be opened for taller loads when necessary.

In 1990, because of poor structural condition, the bridge was rehabilitated to mint condition and the hinged portals were removed.

Since its construction in 1916, the bridge has been repaired numerous times. Historian Ben Maxwell describes a prior bridge repair in 1960: "Marion County recently reconstructed the old Gallon House bridge near Mt. Angel just for the sake of preserving a landmark. It still looks like an overgrown doghouse -at least they could have painted it red for the sake of conformity."

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

Facts 

Overview
Covered bridge over Abiqua Creek on Gallon House Road
Location
Marion County, Oregon
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1916; rehabilitated 1990
Design
The covered Howe through truss Gallon House Bridge was so-named because of its proximity to a local “Gallon House” that reportedly sold bootleg spirits in the early decades of the twentieth century. Built in 1917 at a cost of $1,310, Gallon House Bridge is the last surviving covered bridge in Marion County and the oldest extant covered bridge in the State of Oregon. It was rehabilitated in 1990 and continues to carry vehicular traffic.
(HAER – Gallon House Bridge)
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 84.0 ft.
Total length: 146.0 ft.
Deck width: 13.5 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.7 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1979
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.03194, -122.79806   (decimal degrees)
45°01'55" N, 122°47'53" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/515907/4986518 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Silverton
Inventory numbers
WGCB 37-24-01 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
NRHP 79002124 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
OR 05381 (Oregon Dept. of Transportation structure number)
BH 30097 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 10/2016)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 38.2 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
246

Update Log 

  • March 10, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP date & imported photos
  • April 4, 2013: New Street View added by Mike Goff
  • October 5, 2009: New photos from Michael Goff
  • April 20, 2009: Posted HAER photos

Sources