Built 104 years ago, the Dollarhide Bridge on the Old Siskiyou Highway was one of the first two bridges constructed in 1914 by the new Oregon Department of Transportation. The bridge is named after the Dollarhide family that moved to the Rogue Valley in 1869.
After farming near Jacksonville, they purchased timberland and built a sawmill south of Ashland in the 1880s.
At first Jesse Dollarhide and his adult sons used Lindsay Applegate’s toll road to reach their sawmill, but in 1885 they purchased a section of the road.
The 10-mile section was the steep, narrow grade between Ashland and the California border that is now part of I-5 and the Old Siskiyou Highway. Dollarhide’s son John collected tolls at the south end of the road in Hornbrook, Calif.
Another son, Henry, monitored the road at the town of Barron south of Ashland near today’s Emigrant Lake.
A third son, Leander, was in charge of the way-station along the road near the Siskiyou Summit. The Dollarhides operated the toll road for more than 30 years, from 1885 to 1916, when the state of Oregon purchased the road from the Dollarhide family.
Sources: Dollarhide, William W. Dollarhide Family Website. July 1999. Web. 10 June 2014. Old Siskiyou Highway. Oregon Department of Transportation. Web. 10 June 2014.
— As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at asitwas.org.