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Lost Creek Covered Bridge Still Stands, Age Undetermined

Bridges can last 80 years or more, but an uncovered bridge can deteriorate in about nine years from weathering of the huge truss timbers.

Just a few miles from Lake Creek, Ore., a covered bridge crosses Lost Creek, a tributary of Little Butte Creek.  At just 39 feet long, it is the shortest of Oregon’s covered bridges and perhaps the oldest. Shirley Stone, daughter of pioneer John Walch, thinks it was built as early as 1878-1881.  Johnny Miller is said to have roofed the bridge in the 1880’s, and a sign on the span states it was built about 1881.  However, county records refer to its construction in 1919. 

The bridge served the logging and farming community as a stage stop and provided a link to sawmills across Lost Creek. The economy depended on trees and the little bridge provided a way for wagons to haul timber to the mills. After the 1964 Christmas flood nearly washed the bridge away, a new highway bypassed it.  Falling into disrepair, the people of nearby Lake Creek started a   “save our bridge” campaign. The results of their work in the 1980’s can still be enjoyed today.

Sources: Cockrell, Bill. Covered Bridge Society of Oregon. Ed. Paul Deatherage. Mar. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. www.covered-bridges.org/; Peake, Jacquelyn. "The Romance of Covered Bridges." LA Times 29 May 1994. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. ;  "Lost Creek Bridge." en.wikipedia.org. Feb. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. .

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.