Wyoming has had its share of great engineering history in bridge building. That goes back to the last days of Wyoming Territory and our little transcontinental mission. And my favorite bridge was one of our first, spanning the deep gorge at Dale Creek near Sherman, WY.

Wikipedia has 32 bridges in their Register of Historic Places for the Cowboy State. My favorite isn’t on that list, but it is an old beauty, or maybe I should say it was. The original wooden viaduct at Dale Creek is long gone, on an abandoned old route of the Union Pacific railroad.

The Dale Creek trestle went down 150 feet. I’d prefer to look up 150 feet from the ground. In Wyoming wind it was said to have “sometimes swayed.”

The bridge was first photographed finished in 1868, replaced by a steel structure in 1876, and again replaced by a third (steel) trestle in 1885 until only 1901.

getty.edu

Steel just didn’t have that same romantic look, did it? Maybe the most beloved was the original wood. The Dale Creek Gorge route existed for only a bit over three decades, but its original foundations can still be seen at the exact spots.

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