Knights Ferry Covered Bridge
The Covered Bridge is the town’s most famous
survivor from the years of the Gold Rush. The
330-foot-long bridge crosses the Stanislaus River
at the north end of town, and is the longest
structure of its kind west of the Mississippi.
Dating from 1862, it originally operated as a toll
bridge, with the fees set by the County Board of
Supervisors. The tolls ranged from 2 cents for
hogs and sheep, to $5 for horse or mule teams. The
fee was $2 for dromedaries, while $1 would
cover most other undomesticated animals.
Elephants; however, carried a $3 toll. The bridge
profitable enterprise and in 1868 Locke sold his
controlling interest to Thomas Edwards, a
prominent citizen of Knights Ferry. After a while
the traffic and fees declined, as the nearby
towns of Modesto and Oakdale grew, taking the
traffic with them. Eventually the county acquired
ownership and operation of the bridge and
eliminated the toll.
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