Not far from Eugene, Oregon, on a quiet back country road roughly in the middle of nowhere, is the quiet and unassuming Wildcat Creek covered bridge. Nestled among a stand of trees that come into their own in autumn, the setting is stunning, creating the quintessential covered bridge scene–Wildcat Crossing.
Wild Cat Creek is reasonably tame as creeks go, but it still requires a bridge to cross. In 1925, the 75-foot long Wildcat Creek bridge opened. For a couple of years, this was a crucial bridge on the route to the coastline. In the 1930s, however, faster ways were developed, bypassing this bridge, letting it slide into annals of history. Remarkably, it stood the test of time, and today it is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the subject of Wildcat Crossing.
Rehabilitation and strengthening efforts have stabilized the bridge. The renovations make sure it will remain with us for a long time to come. As you walk over the bridge and into history, you can hear the echoes of the past swirling all around you. The rumble and wheeze of the early cars intermix with today’s modern vehicles, yet it all fits together coherently. The deep thud of the ancient timbers feels solid under your feet, but there is the slightest give, too. And as you stand there, these thoughts and more convey a profound sense of time, place and history.
(Note: modern-day signage was removed from Wildcat Crossing.)