Covered Bridges

 

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Covered Bridges

 

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.

  

Cilleyville Bog Covered Bridge Dalton Covered Bridge
Warner, N.H.

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.
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge

  

Cilleyville Bog Covered Bridge Cilleyville Bog Covered Bridge
Andover, N.H.

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
Sandwich, N.H.

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.
Durgin Covered Bridge

  

Bath Covered Bridge Bath Covered Bridge
Bath, N.H.

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 arches.

  

Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge
The Flume, Franconia Notch
Lincoln, N.H.

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.
Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge

  

Taftsville Covered Bridge Taftsville Covered Bridge
Taftsville, Vt.

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
Ashland, N.H.

This 1990 modern replica crosses the Squam River, and replaces a steel and concrete bridge that had been condemned.  Style: Town lattice truss.
Squam Covered Bridge

  

Quechee Covered Bridge Quechee Gorge Covered Bridge
Quechee, Vt.

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 stringer

  

Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge
Cornish, N.H.

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.
Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge

  

Wright Covered Bridge Wright's Covered Bridge - Detail
Newport, N.H.

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 arches.

  

New England:  Kirk Ramsey Watercolors
Copyright 2010 Kirk S. Ramsey
Last modified: March 11, 2016