Scenic USA - Oregon

Stayton-Jordan Bridge

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Jordan Bridge - Stayton, Oregon

Photos by Denny Barnes
Denny's Betterphoto Gallery

     With an abundance of western Douglas fir, Oregon followed the lead of eastern states in covered bridge construction. Reaching a peak of nearly 450 by 1925, these toll bridges became a very profitable enterprise. Three cents for sheep, five cents for horses and cattle, quickly added up to some serious change. Ocassionally, bridge owners quietly reported a full return of their investment in a few years.
     Originally built to span Thomas Creek just east of Scio, the 50 year old Jordan Bridge was replaced with a reinforced concrete bridge in 1987.
     Concerned citizens put forth a plan to move the historic bridge to neighboring Marion County. Here the bridge, now used as a footbridge, would cross the Salem Canal in Stayton and provide access to each side of the park. Tragically, after the painstaking efforts to move and rebuild it, the bridge was destroyed by fire. Two years of labor and poof, the historic bridge was gone, ignited by a faulty string of Christmas lights. Residents once again banded together, replacing their beloved Jordan Bridge with a replica in Staytonís Pioneer Park. Local citizens toiled throughout 1997 and 1998 to construct a new covered bridge at the site. The new bridge incorporated modern glue laminated members for strength and was patterned after the old bridge. Dedication ceremonies in 1998 celebrated Oregonís newest covered bridge.

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