WLM | people
Wayne’s family was heavily involved in the construction
of the power plant during the 1930s near Alpine,
Wyoming. Around 1985 Wayne built a bridge to it, but
the housing market tanked, and the contractor had to stop
the project. About ten years later he rebuilt the bridge,
adding five feet to either side, making it 24 by 100 feet.
Most of the private bridges in this area are to Wayne’s
credit, and he has some in Jackson, Wilson, Teton
Village, two in Pinedale, some in Driggs and Victor,
Idaho, and one in Montana.
Wayne has his equipment and methods figured out so
that he can build them himself, except for setting them.
When he does need help, Gary Miller, neighbor and
friend, fills the bill nicely – if he isn’t fishing. A couple
family members also help when needed.
Wayne showed me a covered bridge he built that is simply
gorgeous! Salt River runs under it. It goes to a stunning
building that is an entertainment center with some of the
most beautiful landscaping I’ve ever seen. The covered
bridge adds the final touch of charm to the place.
By June Johnston
Images courtesy Wayne Baker
Wayne’s bridges.” I would add that they truly are a
work of art. Moving that artwork forward for future
generations, Wayne and some of his colleagues have
worked to get money together to start a trade school in
Wayne and Mariam had eight children (they lost
their oldest son in an automobile accident when he
was seventeen), 40 grandchildren, around 120 great
grandchildren, and ten great-great grandchildren. His
beloved wife of nearly 73 years passed away not long
ago. He said she was a sweetheart – a wonderful wife
and mother, and the reason he has been successful.
Wayne is 94 years old. He says he retires every night
and that’s as close as it will get. With a man so well
accomplished in his own right, one can only imagine
how that teacher probably regretted not “wasting” her
time on him… W L M
There is also an arched bridge in the valley that Wayne
is quite proud of and rightly so. It is made of eight-inch
square steel, was set in two pieces and welded together
onsite. It will carry loads of forty tons. Someone asked
the owner of the property why he built three bridges
when two would have been enough. He replied, “I like