Nutty Narrows builds bridges for squirrels in Longview
written by Sheila G. Miller | photography by David Reamer
Next time you’re in Longview—look up.
In 1963, local construction company owner Amos J. Peters banded with friends to build Nutty Narrows, a squirrel safe passage across a busy road in town.
According to the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Peters decided to erect the bridge after discovering a dead squirrel on Olympia Way in front of his office building. He took it home to show his three children, then kept it in the freezer. His kids had the squirrel taxidermied as a Christmas present to their father, and it remains in the Amos Peters Construction Company lobby today.
Nutty Narrows transforms squirrel tragedy
The bridge, first opened in 1963 after being approved by the parks department and city council and funded and built by locals, was featured in publications as varied as Sports Illustrated and the Christian Science Monitor.
It allows squirrels to move between a city park and the Park Plaza office building without having to cross the road at car level. The 60-foot bridge has been taken down and repaired a few times since its dedication, and in the meantime, four more squirrel bridges have been installed around town.
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. According to the register, it’s the oldest known squirrel bridge in the United States and features a “modern design aesthetic combined with the do-it-yourself style of Amos J. Peters.”
A large squirrel statue was also built in a nearby park in Peters’ memory and today the city hosts an annual Squirrel Fest to celebrate the rodents.