The Bridge at Bridgeport, California
A very rich historical secret is nestled in the California Mother lode. It is a place of beauty, serenity, historical and natural discovery, and waters that range from placid and crystal clear to a rich crystalline green that roils through the deeper sections. In even more secret spots, massive boulders create nooks and crannies that transport a person into a world of nature and peace.
A masterfully built and lovingly cared for bridge spans the South Fork of the Yuba River. Its hand made sugar pine shingles and graceful decorative arch serve as a reminder of times when cattle were brought across the mountains, herded across the river, and housed in a giant barn for some rest before resuming their journey to the rich grazing lands of the Sierra foothills and the Sacramento Valley.
The place is called Bridgeport, and it is now in the States Park system as the South Yuba River State Park. The bridge was built in 1862 and is the longest single span, wooden, covered bridge in the United States.
Before the invasion of settlers, the area was home to the Southern Maidu Nisenan tribes who made their living along various stretches of the river. The Maidu made natural use of the river and survived the nature of that sometimes difficult and stubborn land.
The Water At Bridgeport in Late Summer. At flood stage, the water almost washes out the bridge.