Exploring Shasta County History: The Harlan D. Miller Memorial Bridge at Dog Creek
In 1926, a general engineer named Charles E. Andrew began the construction on the brand-new 234-foot open spandrel arch shaped Dog Creek bridge which is located in the Sacramento River Canyon, 30 miles north of Redding at Dog Creek, and just east of present-day Interstate 5.
This bridge was designed by a general engineer named Harlan D. Miller, of Oakland, who was the State Bridge Engineer for the California Division of Highways from 1923 until he died while maintaining that position in 1926. Miller is also credited with designing the open spandrel arch shaped Charlie Creek and Doney Creek bridges in Lakehead.
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When the Dog Creek bridge construction was completed, it connected motorists with U.S. Route Highway 99 (also known as the Pacific Highway) spanning Dog Creek Canyon as a two-lane bridge for $123,000, despite original reports stating that it could be built for $110,000.
Above: this sepia image captured the wooden falsework on the completed Dog Creek bridge. Year: 1927. Photographer unknown. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.
The Dog Creek bridge was opened for public transportation on December 4, 1927, and its services were suspended thirty-years later in 1957.
During 1957, a brand-new four-lane north and south bound bridge span connected motorists with Interstate 5 which was built an eighth of a mile west of the Dog Creek bridge.
Before the four-lane bridge was built it was planned, that year, for the north bound traffic to utilize the Dog Creek bridge and have the south bound traffic utilize the brand-new bridge but that changed before the four-lane bridge was completed and the Dog Creek bridge became abandoned.
Above: this sepia image captured the Route Highway 99 traversing through the canyon with the Dog Creek bridge under construction. Year: 1927. Photographer unknown. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.
In 1927, the California Division of Highways dedicated the Dog Creek bridge to the memory of Harlan D. Miller.
Later on, in 1974 a resolution was passed by the California Legislature that officially changed the name of this historic bridge to the Harlan D. Miller Memorial bridge.
For many years, this historic bridge was scheduled to be dynamited by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and then in 1977 the bureaucrats in Sacramento wanted it dynamited as well. Yet, this bridge was saved from being dynamited that year.
Above: a sepia image of an open span aerial view of the Dog Creek bridge. Year: 1927. Photographer unknown. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.
Presently, this bridge is protected by Federal law and it was designated as a California Historical Landmark on May 29, 1984. The bridge is still intact and visible today.
SEE OTHER RECENT ARTICLES FROM: Exploring Shasta County History with Jeremy Tuggle:
Legendary Mining Lore: Gold Nuggets of History
The historic foundation of the Mammoth Aerial Tramway
Exploring the rich history of McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
Cottonwood’s origins, from small 1850s townsite to 1890s growing RR hub
Above: Present day. L-R: Jeremy M. Tuggle and his son, Carson K. Tuggle, below the historic Harlan D. Miller Bridge along the railroad tracks near the confluence of the Sacramento River and Dog Creek. This photograph was taken January 21, 2022 by Jeremy Tuggle.
- H.D Miller Is Named New Bridge Engineer – The Stockton Independent newspaper of Stockton, December 2, 1924
- Napa Contractors Low Bridge Builders – The Healdsburg Tribune newspaper of Healdsburg, August 31, 1926
- Two Highway Bridges Open Next Sunday – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 1, 1927
- Blue Lake Advocate newspaper of Blue Lake, December 17, 1927
- Harlan D. Miller Memorial Bridge by Charles E. Andrew – Western Construction News newsletter, page 47, December 25, 1927
- Madera Tribune newspaper of Madera, December 29, 1927
- Old Bridge written by Garth Sanders for the Record Searchlight newspaper, January 22, 1977
- California Department of Transportation Library. McCurry Album Collection
- The Sacramento River Canyon, SEC-E: 388, available at the Shasta Historical Society
- That Ribbon Of Highway I: Highway 99 from the Oregon Border to the State Capital by Jill Livinston 1996 0-9651277-3-2 Second edition. Published by Living Gold Press. 212 Pages.
Meet the writer: Jeremy M. Tuggle
Education and Community Engagement Manager – Shasta Historical Society
Jeremy M. Tuggle, born in Redding, is a descendant of 11 pioneer families who settled Shasta County between 1849-1889. Jeremy attended Shasta College and is the author of two published books, Rooted in Shasta County (2003), and A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills (2008), as well as various articles on local history.
In 2017 Mr. Tuggle was awarded a Community Service Award, a prestigious national award for community service in historic preservation, by the Major Pierson B. Reading Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Jeremy is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, and an Eagle Scout.
Tuggle has been employed at the Shasta Historical Society since November of 2009. In his present role as Education & Community Engagement Manager, Jeremy conducts research for the historical society’s programs and events, contributes to the Society’s social media presence, and ensures the highest quality guest and patron experience at our programs and community events.
Mr. Tuggle enjoys sharing his knowledge of local history and events, and is available to community organizations to present programs about Shasta County history.
Contact the editor: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.
NOT a California Historical Landmark.
Any type of state or federal historic designation would be listed here: https://ohp.parks.ca.gov/ListedResources/?view=county&criteria=45