Chitwood (Yaquina River) Covered Bridge Oregon Historic Bridge

• Chitwood Covered Bridge's history is intertwined with Oregon railroad history

Chitwood Covered Bridge spans over the Yaquina River near the small ghost town of Chitwood.

The Chitwood Covered Bridge, sometimes called Yaquina River Covered Bridge, is 1 of 4 covered bridges in Lincoln County.

You can access the bridge from U.S. Route 20. It remains open to motorized traffic and has a weight limit of eight tons. This is a fantastic place to stop by on your way to or from the Oregon coast.

The 96-foot (29 m) bridge features semi-elliptical Howe trusses, a wooden deck, a cedar shake roof, and flared batten sidewalls painted in a classic barn red color. Most covered bridges in Oregon are white, and there are only a handful of red-covered bridges in the state.

Chitwood (Yaquina River) Covered Bridge Oregon Historic Bridge

Chitwood Covered Bridge History

The story of the Chitwood Covered Bridge is intertwined with the town's history. In December 1893, the first bridge was constructed here so the residents could cross the Yaquina River without fording it.

A second uncovered bridge replaced the first in 1904, but due to harsh coastal weather conditions, both structures deteriorated and became unsafe.

In 1926, Otis Hamer contracted the construction of the first covered bridge for $4,000 ($71,000 in today's dollars). The bridge was named after the small community of Chitwood, which in turn was named after Joshua Chitwood, the first postmaster and store owner in the railway town.

In 1984, the bridge underwent a historically accurate rehabilitation funded by federal and county sources. Aubrey Mountain Construction rebuilt the Howe truss design and the board and batten siding, preserving the original bridge's look.

Chitwood (Yaquina River) Covered Bridge Oregon Historic Bridge

Town of Chitwood History

Chitwood was once a thriving railroad village, serving as a stop along the Corvallis-Yaquina railway line that ended in Toledo. Joshua Chitwood founded the town, and it grew as supplies, logging products, and passengers traveled along the railway.

Items such as fur pelts, baled moss, chittam bark, lumber, groceries, clothing, cream, and medicine passed through Chitwood's depot.

However, the onset of World War I brought hard times to many small towns in Oregon, including Chitwood. As residents left for war, the town's population dwindled. Today, Chitwood is a quaint residential, pastoral town where railcars no longer stop.

Chitwood (Yaquina River) Covered Bridge Oregon Historic Bridge

Chitwood Covered Bridge | Facts

Architectural Bridge Design: Howe truss
Bridge access: Vehicle
Stream: Yaquina River
Bridge Length: 96 ft (29 m)
Built: 1926
Restored: 1984

Open: Year-round

Elevation: 50 ft (15 m)

Chitwood Covered Bridge is located:

  • 16 miles east of Newport
  • 37 miles northwest of Corvallis
  • 70 miles southwest of Salem.

Chitwood (Yaquina River) Covered Bridge Oregon Historic Bridge

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Chitwood Covered Bridge

From Newport,
  • Take US-20 East for 13.8 miles
  • Turn left onto Crystal Crk Lp and follow it for 1.7 miles
  • Turn right onto Chitwood Road.
Address: 51 Chitwood Rd, Toledo, OR 97391

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