Some things are worth saving.
The Weddle Bridge was scheduled to be demolished as it was deemed to have outlived it’s useful life. A utilitarian and much less attractive concrete bridge was built to replace it to handle the stresses of everyday traffic needs. But the Weddle Bridge was just too beautiful to dismantle and throw on the garbage heap. Grant funds and local fundraising came to the rescue of this iconic 120 foot long wooden covered bridge. Rather than tear it down, in 1989 it was dismantled, refurbished, and rebuilt in a new location in a new town 27 miles away. Originally spanning Thomas Creek near Scio, it is now happily situated in Sankey Park in Sweet Home. Funds to maintain the bridge are aided by an annual country music festival, “The Oregon Jamboree” held at the beginning of August.
Closed to road traffic, the bridge is aging gracefully in its retirement, and is often used for weddings, community events, and photo ops. It sits as a testament to the power of grass-roots efforts to save the history and craftsmanship of times gone by. Although it outlived its useful purpose, as the saying goes – they just don’t build ’em like they used to. And some things are just worth saving.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Interstate 5 at Albany exit US Route 20 (exit 233) and head southeast through Lebanon to Sweet Home. From Highway 20 turn south at 12th Avenue. Turn east on Kalmia Street and then south on 14th Avenue for two blocks. Sankey Park is on the left. Alternately, exit Interstate 5 at exit 216 and travel east through Crawfordsville to Sweet Home.