A Piece of NorCal History: Redding’s Diestelhorst Bridge

Considering its place adjacent to the recently added Lake Redding Bridge, you might overlook Redding’s storied Diestelhorst Bridge. Without scanning the web for NorCal landmarks or speaking to passionate locals, you might also miss out on learning about the historical significance of the structure.

The concrete-reinforced, five-span open spandrel arch Diestelhorst Bridge (I know it’s a mouthful) was constructed in 1914-15 making it the first reinforced-concrete bridge for cars over the Sacramento River.

Among the attractions listed on the National Register of Historic places, Diestelhorst Bridge replaced Reid’s ferry (hence its other name ‘Reid’s Ferry Bridge) in 1915 as a much more convenient means of crossing the river. The thoroughfare gets its name from farmer Gotlieb Diestelhorst who purchased several acres at the site in the mid 19thCentury. Gotlieb’s sons ran a successful resort near the bridge that provided locals with a swimming hole during hot Redding summers. North State drivers continued to use the bridge until 1997 when Lake Redding Bridge replaced it.

Diestelhorst Bridge goes to show that natural and architectural wonders lie all around NorCal – you just have to keep your eye out. Visit the bridge off of Court Street (right near downtown), and not only are looking at an integral part of Redding history, but you can walk, bike, run or skateboard one of the more picturesque sections of the Sacramento River Trail. It’s a great way to spend a beautiful spring day.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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