Knights Crossing - The Knights Ferry covered bridge that now stands across Stanislaus River was not the first bridge or crossing constructed there. In fact, the original covered bridge was built further upstream. It was destroyed by the Great Flood of 1862. The new covered bridge was built at a higher level than the previous one, and it still stands today.
Originally, the crossing had been a ferry built from an old whaling vessel by Dr. William Knight, and his partner James Vantine in 1848. The ferry was said to have built to increase the business at their trading post, yet toll charges could run as high as $200 for a signal crossing. By the end of 1849, however, Dr. Knight had been shot and killed in an argument, and a new partnership between John Dent and Vantine was established.
With a span of 360ft, this Four-Span Covered Bridge is the longest covered wood bridge west of the Mississippi and one of only 10 remaining (authentic) covered bridges in California.
The boards of the road bed were protected with sand, later paved over with asphalt. Three piers of local stone, sharpened on the upstream side support the planking. Bridges were covered for permanence. Wood can survive a long time immersed in water, but alternate wetting and drying cracks and weakens it. To help strenghten the bridge, overhead cross-bracing was locked with inch-square locustwood pins, which are still in place.
The bridge was used for car traffic until it was closed to prevent damage in 1985.