“Grovers” are well acquainted with the Centennial Covered Bridge, a pedestrian bridge located on the western edge of our historic downtown. The bridge is a reminder of the many covered bridges which once dotted our landscape as well as a testament to Cottage Grove’s efforts to embrace its history and historical structures.
Given the popularity of the historical photos I have been sharing on Facebook every Thursday, I thought it would be fun to put together a quick history of this bridge, which is a part of many people’s lives today.
In the 1940s the Main Street Bridge in Cottage Grove looked like this. The road was later re-aligned, and it is the abutments of this old bridge which now support the Centennial Covered Bridge. You can compare this 1940s photo with the one of the Centennial Bridge above, and the IOOF building is still there.
Most of the lumber for the Centennial Covered Bridge came from two covered bridges that had been dismantled. The first was the Meadows Covered Bridge, built in 1922 and located on Mapleton Hill Road, spanning the North Fork outside of Florence. The second was the local Brumbaugh Bridge which spanned Mosby Creek. Though the Brumbaugh bridge was built in 1948 and not that old, it was no longer up to the task of handling heavy log trunk loads.
Dedicated during Cottage Grove’s centennial celebration in 1987, it was only through community effort that the Centennial Covered Bridge became a reality, including the funding which came partially from 450 personalized bricks purchased for $25 each. Additional funding came from a “Bustin’ Loose on the Goose” train ride up the Row, with a BBQ dinner at Harms Park.
Today the Centennial Covered Bridge carries pedestrians across the Coast Fork of the Willamette River, from downtown to the Applegate Trail Interpretive Center.