Covered Bridges in Oregon: Walking Through History

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The Irish Bend Covered Bridge offers an unspoken invitation to slow down with its one lane road gently curving past a farm.

New England isn’t the only area with these wooden mini tunnels. Oregon also boasts over four dozen in her western counties. They’re primarily tucked away in the countryside where there’s rarely a stream of traffic of any kind—on four wheels or four hooves. Few people can simply pass by one of these old-fashioned structures and not stop. There’s something about them that encourages you to pull over, get out of the car, walk through and in a sense, walk back in time.

Bridges such as this one were common throughout the 1800s. There may be a record in a stack of dusty civil engineering archives noting the actual number. It’s safe to say there were once several thousand. Now, there are only about 800 spread across the States.

On this quiet afternoon, we soaked up the history wondering who had ventured here. Perhaps a grandfather or aunt who had settled here a century ago?