“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Reedley in Fresno County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Wagon Bridge

1885 - 1929

Wagon Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, September 20, 2014
1. Wagon Bridge Marker
Marker sits on the river rock wall to the right of the entrance to Kelly's Beach
Inscription.  In the early 1850's, before it became a town, Reedley was in Mariposa County. The only way to cross the Kings River was doing so at your own risk or to find a ferry and pay a fee to cross. The Reedley area could claim two operating ferries.

Poole's trading post and ferry was located about two miles north of Reedley and was run by William Campbell and John Poole from 1851 through 1857. It was made famous as the location where Major James Savage was murdered by newly elected Tulary County Judge Walter Harvey.

In 1908 the Manning Avenue bridge was joined by a new bridge crossing at Olson Avenue. During the flood of January 26, 1914, neither the Manning nor Olson Avenue bridges fared well. The Wagon Bridge survived, but the Olson Bridge completely washed out during the flood. Following the flood a three trestle steel bridge was built at Manning Avenue. It sat on big steel pillars that you can still see rising out of the river bottom today.

Construction of a reinforced concrete bridge began in 1928. The Wagon Bridge was removed soon after in the year 1929.

Dedicated this 27th day of September 2014 Major
Wagon Bridge Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, September 27, 2014
2. Wagon Bridge Marker Dedication
Dedication ceremony with the 3 that worked hardest to get this marker put up.
Click or scan to see
this page online
James D. Savage Chapter 1852 E Clampus Vitus
Erected 2014 by E Clampus Vitus, Major James D Savage Chapter 1852.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 26, 1878.
Location. 36° 36.221′ N, 119° 28.081′ W. Marker is in Reedley, California, in Fresno County. Marker is on Kings River Road, 0.1 miles south of Manning Avenue when traveling east. Marker is at the entrance to Kelly's Beach Restaurant, Bar, General store and Campground. It is on the rock wall to the right of the entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9200 Kings River Rd, Reedley, CA 93654, Reedley CA 93654, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Poole's Ferry (approx. 1.4 miles away); Major James D. Savage (approx. 1.9 miles away); Alta Irrigation District (approx. 6 miles away); The History of the Town Kingsburg (approx. 7.6 miles away); George Boyle (approx. 7.7 miles away); Fred French (approx. 7.7 miles away); The Historic Kingsburg Jail (approx. 7.7 miles away); Libby, McNeill and Libby Cannery (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Reedley.
More about this marker. Standing just to the left of the marker, you are looking straight down the right of way of the Wagon Bridge. The steel pillars referred to in the marker can be seen painted red white and blue. They are all that remain. Farther down stream can be seen the remains of the Cattle Bridge, a temporary bridge used to drive cattle to market.
Additional keywords.
Wagon Bridge trestle image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1908
3. Wagon Bridge trestle
Close up of the image of the steel trestle bridge on the Wagon Bridge marker. The structure in the upper left of the picture is believed to be the home of Thomas Law Reed, the namesake for the town of Reedley.
King River bridge clampers ecv float trestle pillars Kelley's Beach campground Reedley beer
Wagon Bridge trestle pillars image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, September 20, 2014
4. Wagon Bridge trestle pillars
Four of the six steel pillars used for the trestle part of the bridge, painted red white and blue, are visible in this picture. The other 2 pillars sit on the other side of the island in the middle of the Kings River.
Cattle Bridge remains image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, September 20, 2014
5. Cattle Bridge remains
The drought of 2014 revealed the remains of the Cattle Bridge, a temporary bridge used to drive Reedley cattle to market across the bridge to the larger city of Fresno without getting in the way of wagons and vehicles. The wooden posts can be seen sticking out of the sand.
Wagon Bridge Dedication celebration image. Click for full size.
By Frank Vallejos, September 27, 2014
6. Wagon Bridge Dedication celebration
Members of E Clampus Vitus pose in front of the marker for local Fox channel 26 during the the dedication of the Wagon Bridge marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 7, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 18, 2021