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The 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge

The 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge is a derelict structure located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Placer County, California.  The 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge can be found between the communities of Colfax and Iowa Hill.  The 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge is a wire suspension structure which spans the North Fork American River.  The 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge was replaced by a modern span and converted to pedestrian use following floods during 1963.  

Part 1; the history of the 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge

During 1853 gold was discovered at what to become Iowa Hill.  The gold mining claims soon led to a small community known as Iowa City being established.   By 1854, Post Office Service began at the mines of Iowa City.  By 1856 gold production at Iowa City was estimated to be around $100,000.  Iowa City was burned in fires during 1857 and 1862 but the community was rebuilt with more modernized structures.  

The location of Iowa City can be seen as "Iowa Hill" on the 1873 Bancroft's Map of California.  Iowa Hill is shown to be a short distance east of Colfax in rural Placer County with no major roads connecting the communities.  

Iowa Hill can be seen connected to Colfax via a road (now Iowa Hill Road) over the North Fork American River on the 1882 Bancroft's Map of California.  

In 1901 the Postal Service officially changed the name of Iowa City to "Iowa Hill."  Iowa Hill Road can be seen in great detail of the 1914 C.F. Weber Map of Placer County.  Iowa Hill Road is shown with a bridge crossing the North Fork American River, it is unclear what type of span this was.  

Iowa Hill burned for a final type during 1920.  Though diminished by fire and the decline mining the community of Iowa Hill persisted.  During 1928 a then new wire suspension bridge was constructed along Iowa Hill Road at the North Fork American River.  The location of the 1928 Iowa Hill Bridge can be seen along Iowa Hill Road on the 1935 Division of Highways Map.  Iowa Hill Road is noted to be a major Placer County road.  

A car can be seen crossing the 1928 Iowa Hill Bridge can be seen in a 1950s era photo (courtesy

During February 1963 the 1928 Iowa Hill Bridge was partially washed out by floods on the North Fork American River.  A new bridge was erected directly to the south as the new alignment of Iowa Hill Road.  The 1928 Iowa Hill Bridge was subsequently retained as part of the Mineral Bar Campground. 

Part 2; visiting the 1928 Iowa Hill Bridge

During May 2023 Josh Schmid visited the 1928 Iowa Hill Road Bridge after the May 6, 2023, Fresno Road Meet.  The below collection of photos was taken by Josh during his visit.  


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