Building Fernbridge in 1911

When this 1320-foot bridge was built in 1911, it was referred to as the world’s largest all-concrete span. Also called Eel River Bridge, Fernbridge is listed on the National Historic Register for its engineering significance during the period of 1900 to 1924. The Eel River has both State (1972) and Federal (1981) Wild and Scenic River status. [Source: USGS]

Construction of Fernbridge, c. 1911 ;photographer:Keir


Fernbridge, Sept. 1912; Source: Palmquist


2 Responses to Building Fernbridge in 1911

  1. Ellin Beltz says:

    May be the world’s longest concrete arch bridge (then or now), a near-twin of it is in New Zealand… What I find most interesting is look how bare of trees/vegetation the background is. I’ve heard that all the remaining redwoods in the valley were cut to build the 7.5 million board feet of forms it took to pour all that concrete!! In any case, thanks all you old-timers (now gone) for doing this; I can’t imagine Ferndale without it!!

    • Lynette M says:

      I’ve got some older photos of Ferndale from the cemetery looking toward Tompkins Hill that better shows the trees that used to be there. I’ll try to post ’em soon.

      It does make sense that they would harvest the framing lumber from the closest source possible.

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