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Historical Narratives of New Hampshire’s Covered Bridges

Covered Bridges of New Hampshire

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Covered Bridges of New Hampshire is an engaging and well-illustrated history of the covered bridges in New Hampshire, featuring historical photos of each bridge paired with color images.

Author Kim Varney Chandler partnered with bridgewrights, timber framers, bridge engineers, historical societies, town offices, libraries, state and national organizations, and community members to compile extensive histories of each bridge.

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 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.

“While there have been many books written about New Hampshire’s covered bridges over the years, this one is by far the most comprehensive.  Kim has thoroughly researched each bridge and provided documentation to support, and sometimes correct, the stories found in other books and periodicals.”

Bill Caswell, President, National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges

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. These covered bridges are an integral part of the fabric of New Hampshire’s history, 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.

The covered bridges serve as touchstones, providing a link from here to there and from then to now. These are their stories.

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