Sometimes the best surprises on road trips are the little spots that you come across on your journey to some other destination. Lowell Covered Bridge is just such a place. Now granted, I didn’t just happen across it, as I had visited it a couple of years ago to create an image for my Christmas cards, but it was still a treat to stop at it again. Built in 1907 by Nels Roney, the Lowell Covered Bridge replaced a ferry operated by Amos Hyland that crossed the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. A truck struck the bridge in 1945, causing extensive damage to the structure and it was replaced by the current structure. The floor of the bridge was replaced and the structure raised six feet in preparation of the flooding expected to be caused by the construction of the Dexter Dam.
On November 29, 1979, Lowell Covered Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Oregon Department of Transportaion, along with Lane County and the United States Forest Service built an outdoor interpretive center at the site. This interpretive center has several signs depicting the history of the remaining covered bridges in Lane County and the surrounding areas.
The design of the Lowell Covered Bridge is the relatively rare Howe Truss, patented in 1840 by William Howe, a Massachusetts millwright. It includes vertical posts in tension and diagonal posts under compression. It is truly a marvelous thing to stand in the middle of a bridge constructed completely of wood and look at the beauty in the craftsmanship of days gone by.
Lowell Covered Bridge Facts:
World Guide Number: 37-20-18
Year Built: 1945
Span: 165 feet
Stream: Middle Fork of the Willamette River
Until the next adventure….