Jackson Creek Emil Britt Bridge No. 660 - 1957 - Jacksonville, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
N 42° 18.947 W 122° 58.077
10T E 502641 N 4684838
Quick Description: This bridge is located along N Oregon St spanning Jackson Creek in Jacksonville, OR.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 4/11/2013 11:24:02 AM
Waymark Code: WMGVAN
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Jake39
Views: 4

Long Description:
Visitors in Jacksonville might see two plaques on the Jackson Creek Emil Britt Bridge that read:

NO. 660

The bridge is made of concrete throughout and is in very good condition for its age. The plaques are located on the NW and SE corners of the bridge, along N Oregon St.

I located a wonderful online article regarding the life of Emil Britt and reads:

Remembering Emil, the forgotten Britt
August 24, 2008
His life was spent in the shadow of his father's fame.

Even when Emil died in 1950, the headline reminded everyone that he was the "son of pioneer photographer Peter Britt."

Emil was born and died in the house that Peter built, and though he lived for nearly 45 years after Peter's death, Emil was always serving his father's memory.

He and sister Mollie turned the Britt-house photo studio into a museum, preserving his father's cameras and photographs. Though friends said he was quiet and shy, tour guide Emil was always eager to talk about his father, the "best known photographer in the Pacific Northwest."

On the day Emil was born in 1862, Peter celebrated by planting a memorial sequoia tree near his hillside Jacksonville home.

Now more than 200 feet tall, the tree is one of the few reminders of a man once called "a good-natured fellow, a little eccentric at times, but one of Southern Oregon's best-known personalities."

Emil was a loving son, apparently content to follow in Peter's footsteps.

His mother died when he was 9-years-old and from then on, whenever Peter took off on a photographic expedition, Emil was riding alongside.

In 1874, when Peter took the first surviving photographs of Crater Lake, a coughing and shivering Emil posed on the chilly rim while his father counted off a 20-second glass-plate exposure.

Six years later, when President Rutherford B. Hayes came to Jacksonville, he shook Emil's 18-year-old hand, declaring he was glad to meet a "new Republican."

The timid Emil was speechless for a moment, and then blurted out his one-word reply. "Keen-O."

By then, Emil was learning photography from his father. In 1882, he went to San Francisco for formal training, and although he studied for nearly a year, he never was able to achieve his father's artistic touch.

Only as a volunteer observer for the U. S. Weather Bureau was he able to surpass his father's accomplishments.

Peter Britt was an official weather observer from the 1870s, but in 1891 he turned the work over to Emil. For the next 58 years, Emil compiled a daily report of Jacksonville's meteorology, never missing a day.

The Weather Bureau posthumously honored Emil as "one of the deans of the cooperative observer service." They sent a medal to his sister and praised his "unselfish and devoted service to the Bureau."

Emil was buried beside his father in Jacksonville Cemetery.

In 1957, Jacksonville officials remembered their former mayor and good friend, Emil Britt, by dedicating the new bridge over Jackson Creek on Oregon Street to his memory. When they dug the pilings, they even found a little bit of gold.

There weren't many bright spots in Emil's life. He never married and he never escaped the shadow of his father's reputation. Even today, he lives in that shadow. Others might have complained, but for Emil, that shadow was a comfortable place to be.


Date built or dedicated as indicated on the date stone or plaque.: 1957

Date stone, plaque location.: Two plaques located on NW and SE corners of bridge

Road, body of water, land feature, etc. that the bridge spans.: Jackson Creek

Parking (safe parking location): N 42° 18.971 W 122° 58.130

Website (if available): Not listed

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ddtfamily visited Jackson Creek Emil Britt Bridge No. 660 - 1957 - Jacksonville, OR 12/29/2013 ddtfamily visited it