Covered bridges

Bridges were covered mostly in order to protect their timbers from the elements; it was a lot easier to replace the roof shingles every decade or two rather than having to rebuild the bridge.

Southern New England doesn’t have many remaining covered bridges, but there are a fair number of them in Maine, New Hampshire, and especially Vermont. Some are restricted to foot traffic only; others are still passable by cars.

Meduxnekeag Stream Bridge (“Watson Settlement Bridge”), Littleton, ME 1911 Maine’s northernmost covered bridge. In northern Maine, a “stream” can be a pretty big body of water. This bridge is 170 feet long with two spans. Closed to cars.

Magalloway River Bridge (“Bennett Bridge”), Lincoln Plantation, ME 1901 A single 93-foot span, now closed to cars.

Kenduskeag Stream Bridge (“Robyville Bridge”), Corinth, ME 1876 A single-span bridge with shingled walls. Still passable by cars.

Ellis River Bridge (“Lovejoy Bridge”), Andover, ME 1868 At 70 feet long, it’s Maine’s shortest covered bridge. Still passable by cars.

Sunday River Bridge (“Artist’s Bridge”), Newry, ME 1872 A single 87-foot span, now closed to cars.

Piscatiquis River Bridge (“Lowes Bridge”), Guilford and Sangerville, ME 1990 A replacement for the 1857 bridge which was swept away by a flood in 1987. A single span of 120 feet, passable by cars.

Old Channel Saco River Bridge (“Hemlock Bridge”), Fryeburg, ME 1857 A single 109-foot span, still passable by cars.

Ossipee River Bridge (“Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge”), Porter and Parsonsfield, ME 1859 Two spans totalling 152 feet, now closed to cars.

Presumpscot River Bridge (“Babbs Bridge”), Gorham and Windham, ME 1976 A replacement for the 1864 bridge that was burnt by vandals in 1973. Passable by cars.

Perry Stream Bridge (“Happy Corner Bridge”),  Pittsburg, NH c. 1850

Connecticut River Bridge (“Pittsburg-Clarksville Bridge”), Pittsburg and Clarksville, NH 1876

Perry Stream Bridge (“River Road Bridge”), Pittsburg, NH 1858

Ellis River Bridge (“Honeymoon Bridge”), Jackson, NH 1876

Saco River Bridge (“Bartlett Bridge”), Bartlett, NH 1851

Saco River Bridge, Conway, NH 1890

Swift River Bridge (“Albany Bridge”), Albany, NH 1858

Swift River Bridge, Conway, NH 1870

Cold River Bridge (“Durgin Bridge”), Sandwich, NH 1869

Connecticut River Bridge (“Columbia Bridge”), Columbia, NH and Lemington, VT 1912

Upper Ammonoosuc River Bridge (“Stark Bridge”), Stark, NH 1862

Upper Ammonoosuc Bridge (“Groveton Bridge”), Groveton, NH 1852

Israel River Bridge (“Mechanic St. Bridge”), Lancaster, NH 1862

Connecticut River Bridge (“Mt. Orne Bridge”), Lancaster, NH and Lunenburg, VT 1911

Wild Ammonoosuc River Bridge (“Swiftwater Bridge”), Bath, NH 1849

Ammonoosuc River Bridge (“Bath Bridge”), Bath, NH 1832

Ammonoosuc River Bridge (“Bath-Haverhill Bridge”), Bath and Haverhill, NH 1829

Pemigewasset River Bridge (“Sentinel Pine Bridge”), Lincoln, NH 1939 A covered footbridge high above the the Pool at the Flume, incorporating into its structure a truly immense white pine that was toppled by the great hurricane of 1938.

Flume Brook Bridge (“Flume Bridge”), Lincoln, NH 1871

Bearcamp River Bridge (“Whittier Bridge”), Ossipee, NH 1870s

Squam River Bridge, Ashland, NH 1990

Clay Brook Bridge (“Edgell Bridge”), Lyme, NH 1885

Mascoma River Bridge (“Packard Hill Bridge”), Lebanon, NH 1991

Pemigewasset River Bridge (“Blair Bridge”), Campton, NH 1869

West Branch Brook Bridge (“Turkey Jim’s Bridge”), Campton, NH 1958

Beebe River Bridge (“Bump Bridge”), Campton, NH 1972

Sugar River Railroad Bridge (“Pier Bridge”), Newport, NH 1907  Two spans totalling over 200 feet.

Sugar River Railroad Bridge (“Wright’s Bridge”), Newport, NH 1906  A single span of 121 feet, less than a mile downstream from Pier Bridge.

Contoocok River Bridge (“Henniker Bridge”), Henniker, NH 1972  A lovingly and painstakingly-built bridge in the traditional style, with a span of 114 feet. Pedestrian traffic only.

Blood Brook Bridge (“Meriden Bridge”), Plainfield, NH 1880 Two spans totaling 80 feet, propped in the middle by upright beams rather than a pier. Passable by cars.

Blow-Me-Down Brook Bridge, Cornish, NH 1877 A single 74-foot span. Passable for small vehicles, not for big trucks.

Mill Brook Bridge (“Dingleton Hill Bridge”), Cornish, NH 1882 A single 62-foot span. Passable for small vehicles such as passenger cars.

Mill Brook Bridge (“Blacksmith Shop Bridge”), Cornish, NH 1881 A single 76-foot span, open only to pedestrians now.

Connecticut River Bridge, Cornish, NH and Windsor, VT 1866 The longest covered bridge in the United States, with two spans each over 200 feet long. Passable by cars and small trucks.

Great Brook Bridge (“Prentiss Bridge”), Langdon, NH 1874 The shortest covered bridge in New Hampshire, at about 30 feet. Pedestrian traffic only.

Cold River Bridge (“McDermott Bridge”), Langdon, NH 1869 Pedestrian traffic only.

Croydon Brook Bridge (“Corbin Bridge”), Newport, NH c. 1845 A single 80-foot span, passable by cars.

Pleasant Brook Bridge (“Cilleyville Bridge”), Andover, NH 1887 A single 47-foot span, passable for foot traffic only.

Blackwater River Bridge (“Keniston Bridge”), Andover, NH 1882 A single 54-foot span, passable by cars.

West Branch Warner River Bridge (“Bement Bridge”), Bradford, NH 1854 A single 53-foot span, passable by cars.

Warner River Bridge (“Waterloo Bridge”), Warner, NH 1840 A single 70-foot span, still passable by cars.

Warner River Bridge (“Dalton Bridge”), Warner, NH c. 1853 Like the Waterloo Bridge, this is a single 70-foot span, still passable by cars.

Contoocook River Railroad Bridge, Hopkinton, NH 1849 Two spans of about 65 feet each. The trains don’t run through it any more, but it’s claimed to be the oldest surviving covered railroad bridge in the United States.

Contoocook River Bridge (“Rowell’s Bridge”), Hopkinton, NH 1853 A single 153-foot span, passable by cars.

Contoocook River Bridge (“County Bridge”), Hancock and Greenfield, NH 1937 Built as a replacement for a 19th-century bridge; a single 81-foot span passable by cars.

South Branch Ashuelot Bridge (“Carleton Bridge”), Swanzey, NH 1869 A very dilapidated bridge, probably won’t be passable by cars much longer.

Cornwall-Salisbury Bridge, Cornwall and Salisbury, VT 1865 A 136-foot bridge, still passable by cars.

Spade Farm Bridge, Ferrisburg, VT 1852 An 85-foot bridge relocated onto private property.

Halpin Bridge, Middlebury, VT 1824 A 66-foot bridge, still passable by cars.

Lamoille River Bridge (“Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge”), Wolcott, VT 1908 Outfitted with a very unusual full-length cupola in order to vent out steam and smoke from locomotives as they passed.

Paper Mill Village Bridge, Bennington, VT 1889 A single 125-foot span, passable by cars.

Silk Bridge, Bennington, VT 1840 A single 88-foot spand, passable by cars.

Henry Bridge, North Bennington, VT 1989 A 127-foot span, passable by cars, built as a replacement for the original 1840 bridge.

Chiselville Bridge, North Bennington, VT 1870 A 117-foot bridge, originally a single span but now supported by a pier halfway across. Passable by cars.

Arlington Covered Bridge, West Arlington, VT 1852 A single 80-foot span in a very picturesque village location on the Battenkill River. Passable by cars.

Greenbanks Hollow Bridge, Danville, VT 1886 A 74-foot span, recently rebuilt. Passable by cars.

Schoolhouse Bridge, Lyndon, VT 1879 A single 40-foot span. A new road bridge has been built to bypass the covered bridge. Passable by pedestrians.

Chamberlin Mill Bridge, Lyndon, VT 1881 A single 69-foot span, passable by cars.

Sanborn Run Bridge, Lyndon, VT 1869 Built elsewhere, moved onto the grounds of a motel in 1960. Privately owned.

Millers Run Bridge, Lyndon, VT 1995 A single 56-foot span, built to replace the original bridge which was knocked out by a storm. Passable by cars.

Randall Bridge, Lyndon, VT 1865 A 68-foot span, bypassed by a new bridge for automotive traffic but still passable by pedestrians–and, in winter, snowmobiles!

Holmes Creek Bridge (“Lakeshore Bridge”), Charlotte, VT 1898  A 41-foot span, close to the side of Lake Champlain, with lovely views west to the Adirondacks. Passable by cars, as of this writing.

Sequin Bridge, East Charlotte, VT 1849  A 71-foot span, passable by cars.

Quinlan Bridge, Charlotte, VT 1849  An 86-foot span, passable by cars.

Browns River Bridge, Westford, VT 1838 A 97-foot span, heavily rebuilt in 2001. Pedestrian traffic only.

Hopkins Bridge, Enosburg, VT 1875 A single 90-foot span, passable by cars.

Maple Street Bridge, Fairfax, VT 1865 A single 56-foot span, still passable by cars.

East Fairfield Bridge, Fairfield, VT  1865 A single 67-foot span, recently reconstructed and reopened to automobile traffic.

Comstock Bridge, Montgomery, VT 1883 A single 68-foot span, still passable by cars.

West Hill Bridge, Montgomery, VT 1883 A single 58-foot span, still passable by cars.

Fuller Bridge, Montgomery, VT 1890 A single 49-foot span, still passable by cars. (Montgomery takes good care of its bridges!)

Hutchins Bridge, Montgomery, VT 1883 A single 76-foot span, still passable by cars.

Longley Bridge, Montgomery, VT 1863 A single 84-foot span, still passable by cars.

Grist Mill Bridge, Cambridge, VT 1872 A single 84-foot bridge, still passable by cars.

Poland Covered Bridge, Cambridge, VT 1887 An unusually long single span at 152 feet. Recently rebuilt and passable by cars.

Mill Bridge, Belvidere, VT 1895 A single 70-foot spand, still passable by cars.

Morgan Bridge, Belvidere, VT 1887  A single 70-foot span, still passable by cars.

Power House Bridge, Johnson, VT 1872  A single 62-foot span, passable by cars.

Scribner Covered Bridge, Johnson, VT  c. 1880? A single 50-foot span, still passable by cars.

Red Bridge (Sterling Bridge), Morristown, VT 1896 A 63-foot span, passable by cars. It gets its name from its color–most covered bridges aren’t painted. This one is painted red with a red standing-seam roof.

Gold Brook Bridge (“Emily’s Bridge”), Stowe, VT 1844 A single 48-foot span, passable by cars. Reputedly haunted by a spirit named Emily.

Church Street Bridge (“Village Bridge”), Waterville, VT 1877 A single 61-foot span, passable by cars.

Montgomery Bridge, Waterville, VT 1887 A single 70-foot span, passable by cars.

Ware River Bridge, Gilbertville, MA 1886 Closed to vehicular traffic.

Mill Brook Bridge (“Bissell Bridge”), Charlemont, MA 1950 A single, 90-foot span, recently reopened to vehicular traffic.

North River Bridge (“Arthur Smith Bridge”), Colrain, MA 1870 Recently refurbished. Pedestrian traffic only.

Green River Bridge (“Pumping Station Bridge”), Greenfield, MA 1972 A single 90-foot span.

South River Bridge (“Burkeville Bridge”), Conway, MA 1870. Recently renovated, closed to vehicular traffic.

Housatonic River Bridge, Sheffield, MA 1998 A replacement for a 19th-century bridge that was destroyed by vandals. Pedestrian traffic only.

Nashua River Bridge, Pepperell, MA 2010 This covered bridge, the third to have crossed the river at this spot, is very wide, very new, and not very traditional–it employs steel beams to support its span instead of a wooden truss system. It is, however, open to vehicular traffic, unlike many of the historic bridges listed here.

Housatonic River Bridge (“Bull’s Bridge”), Kent, CT 1842 A single-span, single-lane bridge that still carries vehicular traffic.

Housatonic River Bridge, West Cornwall, CT 1864 A two-span bridge that still carries vehicular traffic.

Salmon River Bridge (“Comstock’s Bridge”), East Hampton, CT 1840 Pedestrian traffic only.

Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge, Foster, RI 1994 The only covered bridge on a public road in Rhode Island.

External links:

ME Department of Transportation page on covered bridges

NH Department of Transportation page on covered bridges

A privately-run page on Vermont covered bridges


About Peter Chipman

I'm a lexicographer, an editor, and a lover of language and literature. Also a proud father of two, an occasional bell-ringer, a thirteenth-generation New England Yankee, a former owner of a one-room schoolhouse, and the current owner of a 220-year-old farmhouse.
This entry was posted in History, Transportation. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Covered bridges

  1. Wm. Truax says:

    It was this post that brought me here, though I found myself looking around a bit – Town Pounds have always intrigued me, I came up none so far from the one in Londonderry, there are a few still standing that weren’t on your list, Gilmanton and one in the Old town center in Loudon, I restored a barn across the road from it a few years back. Both are time capsules worth seeing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s