Covered bridges, with their wooden beams and lattice frameworks, are an anachronism of a more pastoral era. Once, these dusky tunnels spanned nearly every stream, brook and river of the North East. An integral component of yesteryear's infrastructure and economy, they not only provided passage for travelers but allowed for the transportation of crops and produce from farm to market. And because of this, the construction of these covered bridges were as likely commissioned by farm owners as they were by townships. Today, these bridges are a dwindling institute of a dying agricultural era. Replaced throughout the last century by steel and concrete spans, the diminishing numbers of covered, wooden bridges in the North East serve as yet another indicator of a region in cultural transition.
What is truly marvelous about these bridges is their aesthetic. The rustic, weathered beams, the hand hewed mortise and tenon joints and the smell of tar-coated century-old wood harken back to an age of hard-muscled, self-reliance. An age, if you can believe it, where the sins of the last decade can not be cashed-in for a $4500 down payment toward shiny fuel-sipping redemption. So, I have taken it upon myself to make record of the existing covered bridges in Franklin county. Lest we forget our history, when the last of these bridges fall.
Below, is the first installment of photos. There will be more to come in the future. In fact, I've only recorded four of the seven covered bridges in Montgomery, VT.
Maple Street Covered Bridge over the Millbrook in Fairfax, VT
Built 1865 by Kingsbury and Stone
Hutchins Bridge over the South Branch of the Trout River in Montgomery, VT
Built 1883 by the Jewett brothers
(seen here under renovation)
Above: note the numerous new timbers in the rafters and along the lattice work (wow, look at that nice Saturn, soon to be a collectors item now that the brand is slated for oblivion)
Below: fresh tree nails, some of which are yet to be driven in.
Longley bridge over the Trout River in Montgomery Village, VT
Built 1863 by the Jewett Brothers
Below: plaque citing excellence for preservation is offset to either side by an inspector's comments regarding deficiencies in the lattice work.
Hopkins Bridge over the Trout River in Montgomery Village, VT
Built 1875 by the Jewett brothers.
Fuller Bridge over the Black Falls Brook in Montgomery, VT
Built 1890 by the Jewett brothers.