Gold Hill Suspension Bridge Provides Swinging

Dec 9, 2014


Built in the 1880s, Gold Hill’s suspension bridge crossed the Rogue River from Sixth Street. It had wire-webbed sides and wooden floorboards placed over 2-by-4s.  Cables held the swinging bridge in place by attaching to the Hays home and bedrock on the Gold Hill side and to a tree and the Fleming home on the Echo Mountain side.

An old picture shows the suspension bridge looped low toward the middle of the crossing.  Its planks were wide enough for a light, horse-drawn cart, although no sober person would attempt such a feat.

If walking over the footbridge wasn’t enough of a problem when the winds were blowing, the town’s boys sometimes waited until an unsuspecting traveler was midway across and then they jumped on the bridge’s ends to make it sway up and down and from side to side until the person raced to get off.

The 1927 flood washed away the suspension bridge.  By then there was no reason to build another footbridge, as by then there were ample bridges for pedestrians and motorists to cross the Rogue.

Source: 1993 and 1999 Gold Hill Historical Calendars, Gold Hill Historical Society, Gold Hill, Ore.