NewsArk - From the November 10, 2005 edition of McKenzie River Reflections
Coins to commemorate county’s seventeen historic covered bridges
February 16, 2023 | View PDF
EUGENE: Lane County was the first county in Oregon to build covered bridges on a large scale and it continues to have more covered bridges than any other county west of the Mississippi River - 17 total, 14 of which are still open to traffic.
To celebrate Lane County’s covered bridge heritage - and to help maintain out-of-service bridges - the Public Works Department will introduce a series of 17 covered bridge commemorative coins over the next eight years.
The first commemorative coin, featuring Goodpasture Bridge, will be the first released on Friday, November 18, at a noon meeting of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce at Takoda’s Restaurant in Rainbow. Sales of the numbered Goodpasture Bridge coins will kick off with an auction in conjunction with the McKenzie Community Bazaar at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
The Bazaar will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Walterville Community Center at 39259 Camp Creek Road. Todd Winter, Lane County Parks manager, will be the auctioneer.
The auction will start with coin No. 1 and continue in ascending order as long as there is reasonable interest, up to about 15 - 20 coins. Details for selling the remaining numbered coins are being worked out.
Five hundred Goodpasture Bridge commemorative coins were minted, with 25 numbered. Unnumbered commemorative coins will be available for purchase for $20 at the McKenzie Chamber meeting as well as at Lane County’s e-commerce site (www.ecomm.lanecounty.org) or in person at the Lane County Public Works office at 3040 North Delta Highway, Eugene.
“These coins pay tribute to our covered bridges and, through their sales, the coins will help fund our bridges’ maintenance needs,” said Oliver Snowden, Public Works director. “This is a very different project for us and one that we hope people will support.”
The Goodpasture Bridge, constructed in 1938 and restored in 1987, was named after a pioneer family homestead. The outstanding architectural details of the bridge include 20 gothic, louvered windows, false end beams, and semi-elliptical portal arches. Goodpasture Bridge is the second longest covered bridge in the state with a span of 165 feet.
Lane County’s Engineering Division maintains the covered bridges that are open to traffic. Three covered bridges - Lowell, Currin, and Stewart – are closed to vehicular traffic, and, because they are ineligible for Road Funds, are falling into disrepair. The Parks Division has committed to long-term maintenance for these three, but funding is limited.
The Parks Division is fronting the cost of minting the coins, and sale proceeds will go to the Lane County Parks Fund. Each commemorative coin will be one ounce of .999 fine silver and marked with the year minted. Ten percent of each commemorative coin edition will be individually numbered.
Numbered coins will include a certificate of authenticity signed by the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, the Public Works Director, and the Parks Manager.