In 2013 and 2014 I set out to photograph
all of New Hampshire's wooden covered bridges, and from those photographs
have created original watercolor paintings to capture the feel of these
traditional early-American structures.
Dalton Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1853 at a cost of $630, the
bridge is 76 feet 6 inches long with a clear span of 70 feet. Built
by Joshua Sanborn, the bridge was repaired in 1871 for an additional cost
of $187. In 1990 the state of New Hampshire repaired the diagonal
and portal and installed a new metal roof. This is one of the oldest
standing covered bridges in use today. There is a debate about the
style - either multiple Kingpost with auxiliary Queenpost system, Haupt-type
truss, or Long truss with auxiliary Queenpost system.
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
Cornish, N.H. and Windsor, Vt.
The longest wooden covered bridge in the
U.S., and longest two-span covered bridge in the world, it was constructed
in 1866 at a cost of $9,000, is 449 feet long and consists of two spans.
Three previous bridges at this site were destroyed by floods (the first
built in 1796). Style: Town lattice truss.
Cilleyville Bog Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1887 at a cost of $522.63,
by a local carpenter, Print Atwood. Originally known as the Bog
Bridge, it is located in the Cilleyville section of Andover. Today
it is a treasure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
where visitors can walk from one side to the other, hearing their
footsteps echo from the wooden beams around and above them, or stand at
the windows and watch the timeless passing of Pleasant Stream below them.
Style: Town lattice truss.
Durgin Covered Bridge
Spanning the Cold River the bridge was
constructed in 1869 and is 96 feet long. The first bridge on this
site replaced a ford a quarter mile upstream, and it, along with two
others, were washed away in floods in 1844, 1865 and 1869. The
bridge is named for James Durgin who ran a grist mill nearby. It was
also a link in the underground slave railroad from Sandwich to North
Conway. Style: Paddleford truss with added arches.
Bath Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1832 at a cost of $2,900,
the bridge is 374 feet long consisting of four spans and is the fifth
bridge to be built on this site. The first was built in 1794 at a
cost of $366. One earlier bridge was destroyed by fire, and the
others by floods. At one time there was a posted sign prohibiting
the riding of horses across the bridge at a trot, for they feared the
vibrations would shake it apart. Style: Burr truss with supplemental
Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge
The Flume, Franconia Notch
Crossing the Flume gorge, this pedestrian
bridge was constructed in 1939 and is 60 feet long. A 90-foot tall
pine, thought to be 100 years old, that once stood near the rear of the
pool, gave the bridge its name. Workmen took a 60 foot piece of the
tree and placed it over the river forty feet above the water just north of
the pool, and made a foot bridge out of it. Style: Stringer.
Taftsville Covered Bridge
Newly repaired following abutment damage
caused by flooding during tropical storm Irene in 2011, this two-span
bridge crosses the Ottauquechee River just downstream from a dam near
state highway 4. The original bridge, built in 1836 at a cost of
$1,800, was the second largest covered bridge in Vermont. It is a
rare example of early vernacular wooden truss covered bridges, and built
by a local resident of his own design. Style: Multiple kingpost
truss with arch.
Squam Covered Bridge
This 1990 modern replica crosses the Squam
River, and replaces a steel and concrete bridge that had been condemned.
Style: Town lattice truss.
Quechee Gorge Covered Bridge
A significant example of steel-arch
construction, an impressive engineering challenge, it was originally built
as a railroad bridge in 1911 for the Woodstock Railroad and in 1933
incorporated into a highway bridge. It replaced an 1875 wooden truss
bridge, and the granite coursed-ashlar abutments are still visible behind
the newer poured concrete footings. The 285 foot long bridge crosses
the Ottauquechee River near Woodstock, Vermont. Style: Steel
Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1877 at a cost of $528, this
85-foot bridge spans a deep gorge containing the Blow-Me-Down Brook.
Style: Multiple kingpost truss.
Wright's Covered Bridge - Detail
This "close-up" shows the double Town-Pratt
lattice truss, which was needed to support the extra weight of engines and
trains of the Concord and Claremont Railroad Line in Newport, spanning the
Sugar River. The bridge is 123 feet long and more than 23 feet of
vertical clearance. The bridge was constructed in 1906 by the Boston
and Maine Railroad, replacing a bridge built by the Sugar River Railroad
in 1871. Style: Double Town-Pratt lattice truss with laminated
New England: Kirk Ramsey Watercolors
Copyright © 2010 Kirk S. Ramsey
March 11, 2016