Down with the old and up with the new |

Down with the old and up with the new

Jan. 15, 1996 – “The Final Promenade” or the day on which the old Gault Bridge closed forever and passed into Nevada City history. It rained that day but the rain failed to dampen the spirits of those hearty souls attending. They were there to walk one last time across the venerable structure, which had served the community so well for 93 years.

There were a few speeches or “brief comments” as listed on the printed program. Civic dignitaries’ were brief (the rain helped!) and introductions were held to a minimum. Bob Paine, the oldest living mayor was introduced as were those who would built the new crossing.

Highlight of the afternoon was the symbolic final automobile crossing by first, a 1903 Locomobile steamer built the same year as the Gault and driven by Charlie Sowell representing the “old.” Then came a 1996 Pontiac Firebird from Weaver Auto and Truck Center in Grass Valley representing the “new” or the year in which the new Gault or the Pine Street Bridge, as it became known, would cross Deer Creek at the exact spot of the old.

Let the photos tell the story.


Have patience, the “Saga of the Bridges” is almost complete. One more chapter to go after today’s photo offering. The Pine Street Bridge (I prefer to call it the new Gault Bridge) is a marvel of 20th century engineering and designed to last at least twice as long as the one it replaces.


Bob Wyckoff is a retired Nevada County newspaper editor and author of local history books. You may reach him at: or PO Box 216, Nevada City CA 95959

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