California Camp Fire destroys unique Gold Rush-era covered bridge

A historic bridge used during the California Gold Rush and the only covered bridge of its kind in the United States became a casualty of the state’s raging Camp Fire.

The Honey Run Covered Bridge in Chico was the only covered bridge in the country with three unequal sections, according to the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association (HRCBA). It was also one of only 11 covered bridges left in the state.

The 238-foot bridge was built in 1886 at a cost of $4,300 after gold was discovered in Butte County. It consisted of three spans with steel Pratt-style trusses, Ponderosa pine compression timbers and iron tension rods. The spans over Butte Creek were all unequal lengths – 128, 80 and 30 feet – with the center span standing higher than the side spans.