Children playing and people boating on a river with a bridge and forest in the background

Playing at Big River Beach, 1920-1940. Children playing and swimming and people boating at the mouth of Big River. One can see the Big River bridge in the background. (Gift of Dot Johnson)

July 10, 1930 – The wheel of a large truck crossing Big River Bridge cut through the floor of the bridge about 60 feet from the north end and fell into the resulting hole. The truck was carrying a donkey engine bound for Little River to operate a pile driver.

The Beacon reported, “A crew of men jacked the truck up and it was started ahead but cut through the planks again. It was finally raised and the truck was able to resume its journey. Only the left rear wheel of the truck went through, but six heavy three-inch planks of the bridge were smashed through. The accident caused a cessation of traffic, cars being strung along for a mile on both sides of the break. It required about two hours to get the truck off the bridge.”

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.