Golden Gate and Caveman Bridges Serve as Portals


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Lynda Demsher


3 176

Although they do not appear to have much in common, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass share a common characteristic.  Each has been declared a portal to the Redwood Empire, the Golden Gate the southern entrance and the Caveman the northern.

In 1931, the Redwood Empire Association promoted tourism along U.S. Hwy 101 and into Josephine County.  A highway sign on the Caveman Bridge reads, “Right Lane for Redwood Empire, Oregon Caves, Golden Gate Bridge,” which makes little sense without the history behind it.

The Redwood Empire Association also encouraged major bridges along the corridor to be outfitted with statuary to make the route more memorable for tourists.  The bridge over the Klamath River just south of Crescent City, for instance, has statues of a bear at each end.

When a fund-raising effort fell flat in Grants Pass, a member of the Cavemen, a tourism-promoting group that dressed as Neanderthals and romped about during parades and community events, posed on a guard rail at one end of the bridge. 

That was the closest the Caveman Bridge got to any kind of statue.


Source: Fixen, Gary. "And Now.The Rest Of The Story." Collected Mementos and Photographs of Oregon Caveman Flamewatcher L.A. "Dad" Ringuette, 1999 (Josephine County Historical Society).


Select for Ashland Tidings: