I loved this old bridge, I love history and the tales told along back country trails. This was once the main road that was traveled by stagecoach, horse, and foot. It was at it’s busiest from the 1860s through the 1880s. Long before automobiles plied the nation’s roads, long before paved road became ubiquitous.
The rich and famous passed thought this portal, as did those seeking fame and fortune. Most people today travel Highway 395 that largely parallels this back road. The towns that once drew all the traffic boomed and busted in strange mining cycles as bonanzas were found and ore processing technology changed.
If you want to drive this old road it’s still there, but this Iron Bridge is long gone. Its capacity went from 15 tons, to 10, to 5 tons and was removed, replaced with a rather ugly slab of concrete.
If you drive along keep a keen eye out for the ghost of Sam Clemens heading North as he walked from his diggings in Aurora. For his final destination of Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise newspaper and the writing job that gave him his new name Mark Twain.
My Dad is standing on the bridge in this photo, and is not to be confused for Mark Twain.
Walker River East Fork Nevada
© David “Bodie” Bailey