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This is a single suspension bridge from my historical inventory of suspension bridges. Follow the Inventory link for more information about the inventory.
1852 Wilson's
Cosumne, California, USA (Cosumnes River)
Bridgemeister ID:2116
Coordinates:N 38.49229 W 121.17183
Maps:Acme, Google, MapQuest
Principals:W. D. Wilson
Main cables:Wire
Main span:150f
Deck width:12f
  • The location of this bridge was near the present day location of Cosumne in Sacramento County, just east of Sloughhouse. The location coordinates provided here are only to show the approximate location of present-day Cosumne and should not be considered the exact location of the bridge. Don Sayenga writes: "The exact location was at the intersection of [present-day] Dillard Road and State Route 16 a very short distance east of Sloughhouse, Sacramento County, California... The whole area at that time was known as Daylor's Ranch."
  • Don Sayenga notes an F.W. Panhorst (of the California Highway Department) citation:
    "Alta California July 27, 1852 reprinting an article from Sacramento Union mentions a wire suspension bridge built in Sacramento County across the Cosumnes. The span is described as 150 feet with a roadway width of 12 feet. One W.D. Wilson is mentioned as owner and designer. This structure, according to our best information, was the first suspension bridge in California."
  • A January 14, 1862 Sacramento Bee article notes:
    "The quartz mill and house of the brothers Wiley, just beyond Butte City, were carried away by the torrent. At Ione City, Williamís brick stable had fallen, and several other houses had met with a like fate. On Sutter creek, the loss and damage had been terrific - bridges and houses being carried off like chaff. Mr. Haywood, proprietor of a quartz mill on Sutter creek, had been a loser to the amount of at least $75,000. We have it from good authority that in the counties of Calaveras and Amador not a bridge is left standing. Below Ione City, it is thought that there has been loss of life."

    "Last Saturday night, the reports of minute guns were heard, as if signals of distress, coming from the direction of a house where lived Mr. Martin and his family. The whole of Ione Valley was many feet under water. No boats were to be had, so that assistance might be rendered those in danger and distress. In a short time a heavy crash was heard, the signals of distress ceased, and our informant tells us that when he left the general impression was that Martin and his family had lost their lives. The wire suspension bridge over the Cosumnes river had disappeared - the house known as Wilsonís Exchange has also been washed away, and Daylorís adobe house is flat with the ground. These facts go to show that throughout the mountain districts, as well as in the valleys, the destruction of property and loss of human life exceed the worst that was anticipated, and we shall hear repetitions of such tales of distress as the avenues for communication are gradually opened to us."
    which seems to imply a relationship between the Ione Valley, the Cosumnes River, and the bridge at Wilson's Exchange, but this may have just been coincidental that both "Ione Valley" and Wilson's Exchange were mentioned in the same paragraph; they are nearby. Present-day Ione is in Amador County a few miles east of Sacramento County. The Cosumnes River forms the northern border of Amador County several miles to the north of present-day Ione. Barry Parr notes that the Cosumnes River does not flow through the "Ione Valley," but Barry writes: "Recalling Daylorís name in Historic Spots of California: 'Daylor established himself as a trader and hotel-keeper on the Cosumnes River about a mile east of Slough House. This place, which was at first known as Daylorís Ranch, later became the Cosumnes post office.' (p. 290) The site of Cosumnes post office is about five miles downstream from Bridge House, and both are on the Sacramento-Ione Road.
  • An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. (by Hon. Win. J. Davis, Lewis Publishing Company, 1890, Pages 435-436) sheds more light on W.D. Wilson. See Debbie Walke Gramlick's transcription:
    "Mr. Wilson and part of the company concluded to seek the land of gold, while others kept to the original design of going to Oregon. On his arrival Mr. Wilson mined for a short time on Mormon Island and then moved to Hangtown, now Placerville, where in the winter of 1848-49 he built the first house erected in that place. The family then comprised six children; five more were born in California; nine grew to maturity and seven are living in 1889. In the spring of 1850 he moved down on the Cosumnes and purchased 6,000 acres of the Hartnell Grant, and built a tavern, long known as Wilsonís Exchange, across the river from what is now the Cosumnes post office. He was postmaster from the establishment of that office until 1868. He was by trade a millwright and built the first suspension bridge on the Cosumnes."
  • See 1852 Huse - Yeomet, California, USA.
  • See Lamb's - Latrobe vicinity and Plymouth vicinity, California, USA.

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