the Rochester Bridge - Photo by: Bill Cockrell
The Rochester Covered Bridge, with its droopy-eyed appearance, sits just three miles northwest of Sutherlin among the farms surrounding the Calapooya River.
The design of this bridge is unique among Oregon roofed structures, featuring windows having graceful curved tops.
Built by veteran builder Floyd Frear, the bridge combines both beauty and strength offered by the wooden structure.
In the late 1950s, a nearby covered span was torched and destroyed by a county crew to make way for a new concrete bridge. Rumors had spread that the Rochester bridge would meet the same fate.
Many local residents, fearful that those same county workers who favored progress would wait until nightfall to burn the Rochester Bridge, sat through the night with guns and rifles to safeguard the dilapidated structure. With the arrival of daylight, the bridge was safe.
County commissioners then promised the residents the bridge would not be burned. The Rochester Bridge was remodeled in 1969 when county crews worked to replace portal boarding, the approaches and the abutments.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Sutherlin travel west on Highway 138 approximately two miles to Sterns Lane. Turn north on Sterns Lane to Rochester Road. The bridge is just north of the intersection of Sterns Lane and Rochester Road.