Season One, Episode One – Bridging the Divide

Your adventure begins at a structure that was groundbreaking in its time – 1913: the van Buren Bridge; and in its purpose: connecting people and conveyances into Benton County and Corvallis over the mighty Willamette River.

Imagine stepping through a thin veil in time and space, leading you to a rescue mission! Although rescuing a person is in-and-of-itself an important thing to do, the person you are helping has an important task that HE is intent on performing as well.


Re-enact one of the fascinating incidents from the varied and storied past of the Van Buren Bridge – shortly after the bridge was first put into service,  an oversight in the design was dramatically revealed.


Solve the challenges starting by clicking the VIRTUAL ADVENTURE button to unravel the story and find out what was really happening on that fateful day!


Click the VIRTUAL ADVENTURE button on the upper right corner to get started!

OR, if you are intent on doing this adventure ON THE GROUND, please download the PDF version for old-fashioned paper version.  Or install Actionbound (instructions here) on your mobile and scan the code to get started using that.

Hints for Challenge 2 - Courthouse Crackers

Choose How to Play

Virtual Adventure

On the Ground

PDF Game Pieces

Actionbound App

Don’t have Actionbound installed on your smart phone? Click Below!

The Historic Resources Which Inspired Episode One Challenges

Built in 1888, the Benton County Courthouse is the oldest courthouse in Oregon still being used as a courthouse. Through the years, the Benton County Courthouse has collected several ghosts, had a dynamite moment in 1909 and continues to shine as the crown jewel of Benton County. One of the reported ghosts appears as a gentleman in a bowler hat and Union Civil War Uniform and believed to be Martin T. Lindsey, was captured carrying a message through enemy lines and was imprisoned at Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Mr. Lindsey is buried at Crystal Lake Cemetery under a star of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Additional information about the Benton County Courthouse or the haunting conditions at Andersonville Prison

The Van Buren Bridge is a first on several fronts– it was the first opportunity for Corvallis women to cast their vote* and was the first Corvallis bridge to cross the Willamette–replacing over 50 years of ferry crossings. The Van Buren Bridge is the only movable bridge west of the Mississippi built with a rare pin connection technology. George Way, an Asian American dishwasher at Corvallis’ Hotel Julian, became stuck on the bridge in 1914 when a fierce windstorm blew it open. 

For more information about the Van Buren Bridge or being  Chinese American in Oregon.