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This Day in MendoHistory: June 9, 1940- California Governor Dedicates the Russian Gulch Bridge

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In collaboration with Mendocino’s Kelley House Museum, MendoFever will be publishing their “This Day in Mendocino History” Facebook posts. The Kelley House Museum works hard to document and curate Mendocino County’s rich history and can be visited in the seaside town of Mendocino.

Photo: Russian Gulch bridge under construction, 1939. (Emory Escola, Emery Escola Collection)

On this day in Mendocino history…

June 9, 1940 – California Governor Culbert Olson officially dedicated the Russian Gulch bridge. The new bridge replaced an old timber trestle that was located 500 feet further upstream. The old structure was built in 1911 and had been designed to support a 6-horse team. Increased vehicle weight had made the 30-year-old bridge unsafe. The new bridge and about 2800 feet of new approaches were built for $109,000.

Prior to the dedication ceremonies, Governor Olson and his party attended an abalone luncheon at Russian Gulch and the annual rhododendron festival.

In his speech, Governor Olson spoke of the beauty of the Mendocino coast and the need for adequate fire protection for the forests of California, citing the appalling losses through fires and calling for more fire-fighting funds.

Following the governor’s address, Secretary of State Paul Peek cut the ribbon and the governor’s party proceeded across the structure on their way back to Sacramento.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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