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Bridgeport Covered Bridge

Bridgeport Covered Bridge

April 6, 1966: The 233-foot Bridgeport Covered Bridge spans the South Fork of the Yuba River. Built in 1862, the bridge served gold miners traveling between Virginia City, Nev., and Sacramento.

These photos accompanied an article by Times staff writer Charles Hillinger who wrote:

BRIDGEPORT – A covered bridge sweeps away time in this turn-back-the-clock country of Central California.

Bridgeport, around the bend from Timbuctoo, up the road from Rough and Ready and 15 miles north of Grass Valley, is one of the few places in the state that still has a covered bridge, and California’s remaining “useless anachronisms” are disappearing fast.

Fifteen years ago there were 21 “kissing bridges” in the state. Today 11 remain…..

The Bridgeport Covered Bridge, a picturesque 233-foot span, is the oldest in the West, the longest wooden single span covered bridge in the nation. It was built in 1862 across the South Fork of the Yuba River in Nevada County.

Originally known as Nye’s Crossing, the bridge was part of the Virginia City Turnpike Co. toll road serving the busy mines of Nevada’s Comstock Lode…

Why cover a bridge?

Not to keep the snow off as many think, but to keep the timbers dry and preserve the inside structure from deteriorating.

Spooning inside the boxed-in bridges was popular during horse-less carriage days.

The Bridgeport Covered Bridge is now controlled by the state Department of Parks and Recreation and is now part of the South Yuba River State Park.

All three of these images were taken by former Los Angeles Times staff photographer Steve Fontaanini.  The top image and middle one below were published with Hillinger’s article. The bottom image, from the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive at UCLA, was not published.

Local residents Jennifer Cowan and her brother Steve inside the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Credit: Steve Fontanini/Los Angeles Times.

An unpublished frame from Steve Fontanini’s shoot at the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Credit: Steve Fontanini/Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA

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