Larry Clark: Bridgeport Covered Bridge vs. Disneyland | TheUnion.com

Larry Clark: Bridgeport Covered Bridge vs. Disneyland

Bridgeport Covered Bridge vs. Disneyland

Reading George Bordman's columns of wit and scorn over the years has usually been a pleasure.

But his attack on the 156-year-old covered bridge must have come on after a bad breakfast. Comparing the restoration of that historic place to Disneyland is a low blow.

That bridge is us, our history, our ancestors, our pioneers trudging the Virginia Turnpike from Marysville, via that bridge to French Corral, Camptonville, the Henness Pass, Verid, Carson City and Virginia City, et al. It is the gold rush in all its glory and failures; thousands, on foot, horseback or wagons, hoping to strike it rich, often to make a better life back in "the States."

One hundred freight wagons a day during the rush, so busy they ran the wagons by day and the stage coaches at night.

Families, card sharps, merchants, thieves, speculators, ladies of the evening, Mark Twain, Black Bart and the unknowns to history.

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Standing on that structure during the 1997 floods, feeling the shudders as debris and water smashed against the timbers, tearing away siding and a whole section of one arch, one could appreciate the genius of builder David Woods, who, in 1862 built a bridge to last, combining arch, truss and iron tie- downs.

Rather than the schlock of a roadside attraction, attention during the reconstruction will be paid to accurate materials befitting its integrity

Come down to the river George. Stand on the Bridge. Feel the current and the ghosts of all those who passed through, carrying with them … Hope.

Larry Clark

State Park Ranger

Retired