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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Nutty Narrows Bridge
Reference Number 14000500
State Washington
County Cowlitz
Town Longview
Street Address Olympic Way, between 18th Avenue and Maple Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 8/18/2014
Areas of Significance ENTERTAINMENT/RECREATION
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/14000500.pdf
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The Nutty Narrows Bridge, constructed in 1963, is a squirrel-sized catenary bridge that was erected to create an abovestreet crossing for Longview squirrels moving between the Park Plaza office building and a city park across the street. The Nutty Narrows is the oldest known squirrel bridge in the United States. Envisioned by the owner of a construction company, Amos J. Peters, the Nutty Narrows squirrel bridge was constructed during the month of March in 1963 and reflects a modern design aesthetic combined with the do-it-yourself style of Amos J. Peters. The Nutty Narrows is locally significant to the city of Longview under Criterion A for entertainment/recreation due to its beloved status as a city icon and its provision of opportunity for wildlife viewing. The bridge represents the efforts of a small group of citizens who created a beloved community landmark to save local squirrels from having to cross a busy thoroughfare. The bridge has become a favorite local roadside attraction and has remained an important landmark in Longview, Washington. The Nutty Narrows Bridge is significant under the National Register eligibility Criterion A, for its entertainment/recreationrelated themes as a reflection of the development of the bridge to solve the burgeoning need for a safe passageway for the city's squirrel population over Olympia Way in Longview, Washington. The period of significance begins and ends in 1963, the year of construction. Amos Peters, the bridge's designer and constructor, discovered the need for the bridge when he noticed a red squirrel in the road in front of his office building that had met a vehicular demise. Peters envisioned the bridge and then, by constructing it, created one of the most beloved novelty attractions in Longview. After the construction of the Nutty Narrows Bridge, a large squirrel statue was constructed in Amos Peters' memory in a nearby park and four other squirrel bridges have since been constructed within the Longview city limits.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria