History
10:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Jaston Hartman and Sons Build Jackson County Bridges

  An oil derrick builder, Jaston Hartman, left Ohio and moved to Jacksonville in 1900, where he used his skills to build Oregon barns.  He soon became Jackson County’s bridge superintendent.

Hartman and his sons built the larger hay barn in 1900 that still stands by the Hanley Road. As large steam and gas farm machines came into use, farmers needed taller barns with wider trusses. Building the McKee Bridge solved a dangerous travel problem.  A horse drawn wagon had gone over the cliff at Dead Horse Hill, and others had close calls.  Hartman and Sons built a wooden bridge to cross the Applegate River at the south end of Dead Horse Hill.  Hartman’s sons, Wes and Lyle, were 16 and 14 when they began helping their father build bridges.  Lyle went on to set a county employment record as a bridge builder for 50 years.   The family built hundreds of bridges.  By the 1960s, they were replacing bridges they had built years earlier.   Although the plaque on the McKee Bridge misspells Hartman’s name as Jason, the grave marker in the Jacksonville Cemetery has it correctly as Jaston. 

 Sources:  Miller, Bill. "A bridge by any other name." Mail Tribune 22 June 2018 [Medford, Ore.]. Web. 19 June 2014. 

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