On Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 11:00am-3:00pm, the McKee Bridge Historical Society will host a GRAND CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION on the bridge and in the park with a variety of activities and events. After two years of not holding the traditional McKee Bridge Day due to restoration work and an aging committee, we are pleased to offer a special celebration of the bridge this year—on the one-hundredth anniversary of the construction of the bridge!

In 1917, after much discussion and attempts by early Jackson County movers and shakers to create a rail line into the Applegate to facilitate moving copper ore down from the Blue Ledge Mine in the Upper Applegate drainage above Elliot and Joe Creeks, it was ultimately decided to build the McKee Covered Bridge to provide safe crossing of the river, on land donated by “Deb” McKee and his wife, great uncle and aunt of Evelyn Byrne Williams, beloved local historian. Jaston Hartman and sons built the bridge, which has withstood numerous floods as well as decay and aging, requiring many restoration efforts over the past century. It still stands proudly today because of the support of the local community.

At the celebration, featured music will be by the Old Time Fiddlers, playing from 11:00am-1:00pm, followed by cowboy poet and balladeer Butch Martin and singer/songwriter Christina Lynn Martin, presenting original works relating to the bridge and the early mining era. The Stray Cats Car Club will show classic cars of the period, and the Hit and Miss live steam club will have a variety of old steam engines on display.

A select group of artists and vendors will have items for viewing and for sale. There will be a number of unique raffle items, featuring themed baskets, some surprise high-value raffles, and also a standard 50/50 raffle. In addition to a variety of tasty food choices, there will also be a bake sale and root beer floats available. If that’s not enough, you can wander over to the bridge and take in the historical displays or get your very own McKee Bridge Centennial t-shirt and other items at the traveling museum, while checking out the McKee Bridge quilt which depicts the history of the area. Come join us for an afternoon of fun for the family and a celebration of our local history. For more information contact Paul Tipton at 541-846-7501, or ptipton@frontier.com.