Created By: Visit Carlton
Known as one of the earliest bridges transversing the North Yamhill River, Smith Bridge became an important crossing point to settlers west of the future community of Carlton. Constructed by Peter Smith on his donation land claim, it accessed a portion of his own claim as well as his son's land to the west. By 1852 the bridge had developed as a major crossroads serving as a thoroughfare to the coastal range and sawmills in the foothills.
Repairs to the bridge were made in 1857 when money for planks was requested from the County Commissioners to improve the bridge's surface. Whether the bridge at this time was the original structure is not known. The first request before the county for replacing the bridge occurred in 1876. Two carpenters were employed to complete the project. Later a need for a wagon approach was recognized. N. K. Sitton and others went before the Board of Commissioners and received approval for half the funds needed to complete a 700 foot approach.
Several bridges have replaced this early structure: a covered bridge, a steel bridge and two concrete structures, the most recent built in 2006. Recognized as a significant historical site, the Smith Bridge developed into a major link in traversing the North Yamhill River and has continued in that capacity to this date.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Carlton Historical Tour