Cushman, Oregon, Along the Lower Siuslaw
The old swing-span railroad bridge at Cushman is one of the longest of its type in the U.S. It’s been decades since it last had to open, but when it was built in 1914 ocean-going ships were regular visitors to the lumber and cannery docks here. The town was originally named Acme when it was founded in 1885, and for a time it was bigger than its down-river rival, Florence. Ironically, the coming of the railroad meant the end of Acme. Not only did the railroad force the town to change its name (it conflicted with another Acme on the line), it also ushered in the end of shipping by sea, eventually killing the economic engine for the town (renamed Cushman after a town father). After the Coast Highway was routed through Florence in the 1930s, Cushman gradually died out.