May 04, 2011
The deck and truss portion of the bridge across the South Fork of the Merced River was built around 1857 by settler Galen Clark who established a touris facility here. The area then called Clark's Station. The road from Wawona to the Yosemite Valley opened in 1875 jusy after The Washburn brothers purchased Clark's holdings. The brothers who were from Vermont covered a bridge soon thereafter.
Bridges were covered primarily to prtect the large wood truss beams and flooring from the weather. It is much easier to reshingle a roof than to replace the major supporting structures. Although the large beams were hand-hewn with ax and adze, the lumber to cover the bridge exclusively for practical reasons? Maybe so. But a granddaughter claims yje reason was nostalgia, they were homesick for a bit of New England.