The 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 was a 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.

California Gold Country
Gold Country
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