Coming Fall 2022
After almost two years of research, Covered Bridges of New Hampshire is almost ready to print.
These historical narratives of New Hampshire’s historic covered bridges are supported by primary sources gained from partnerships with the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, bridgewrights, timber framers, bridge engineers, historical societies, and town offices, libraries, state organizations, and community members.
It is estimated that New Hampshire was once home to over 300 covered bridges. A good number of these bridges were removed to make way for progress. Built before the idea of an automobile was even conceived, many of these covered bridges could not sufficiently handle the increased traffic and were replaced with modern steel or concrete structures. Many were neglected and eventually lost to the rot and decay of time. Many more were destroyed by the vandals’ hand.
But by the mid-twentieth century, a movement began toward not only preserving these historic structures but employing nineteenth-century craftsmanship to do so.
Today, there are over sixty authentic covered bridges in New Hampshire; forty-six of which are over a century old. These bridges exist today solely because of the efforts of a small but powerful community who both recognized their significance and honored their tradition; people who refused to let a steel and concrete bridge replace their history.
These covered bridges are an integral part of the fabric of New Hampshire, but each bridge has its own story to tell. Some have stood sentry over their waterways without incident; others have risen like a Phoenix from the ashes after a tragedy took them down. They have served as playgrounds for children who hung from the rafters or fished through the cracks in the river below. They stood quietly while advertisers affixed broadsides to their timbers; some of which can still be seen. They offered places to steal a kiss, take shelter from the sun or the rain, or jump into the swimming hole below. The covered bridges serve as touchstones for their communities, providing a link from here to there and from then to now. These are their stories.
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