There have been a number of bridges crossing the confluence of the North and Middle Forks of The American River. This photograph shows a single buggy crossing this "cable bridge", sometime in the early 1900's. You can see some of the buildings just over on the Placer County, north side. These bridges were "toll" bridges, until the State of California took over. Likely you would have paid the bridge keeper on the other side.
You can see the buildings better in this winter view. Horse drawn stages were used for public transportation up until 1915, when they were replaced by automobiles.
Both photos from: California State Library