The second chapter in Covered Bridges of New Hampshire, following the table of contents and my rambling preface, is a chapter entitled simply, Gratitude.
My publisher and I had several back and forth conversations about both the length and the placement of this chapter. Some books feature a gratitude section tucked away in the rear of a book; a footnote of thanks if you will. Many books that begin with an introductory nod to those who helped the author are a couple paragraphs at most.
My gratitude chapter is three full pages.
Many readers will skip right over this section. That is a bad idea.
Covered Bridges of New Hampshire would simply not exist in its current form without the assistance of the almost two hundred people mentioned in this chapter, including my publisher, who agreed the chapter should lead the book.
Research is a team effort. Covered Bridges of New Hampshire was just that. These folks shared their resources and knowledge with me and I simply pulled it all together. And I am grateful.
I would be remiss not to specifically mention my constant companion through this project. For the better part of two years, Pemi traveled with me to visit the covered bridges where she posed for photos, found sticks to fetch in the rivers, barked at passersby, and waited patiently in the car. At home, she sat beside me while I wrote.
The full chapter is shared below. Take a look.
Again, thank you.
THIS BOOK WOULD NOT EXIST if not for the support, patience, and kindness of Bill Caswell, president of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB). I am beyond grateful for his willingness to share his covered bridge knowledge, for painstakingly reviewing every chapter, for graciously sharing NSPCB archival material, and for answering my multitude of questions.
A special thank you to Scott J. Wagner, vice president of the NSPCB, for sharing both his knowledge and extensive photo collection, for reviewing my work, for contributing his personal truss design illustrations for this publication, and for repeatedly translating design concepts into layman’s terms. By extension, I am grateful to both Jenn Caswell and Susan Wagner for their kindness and for welcoming me into the NSPCB.
These historical narratives would also not be possible without the willingness of the following people to freely share their resources, documents, and knowledge on specific covered bridge repairs, restorations, inspections, and histories. I am indebted to them for their contributions to this research, including their review of multiple chapters: Arnold M. Graton and Meg Dansereau (Arnold M. Graton Associates, Inc.), Robert H. Durfee, P.E. (DuBois & King, Inc.), Sean T. James, P.E. (Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc.), Timothy Boodey, P.E. (New Hampshire Department of Transportation Bridge Maintenance Bureau), Thomas Mansfield (New Hampshire Department of Natural & Cultural Resources), Tim Andrews (Barns and Bridges of New England), Christopher Marston (National Parks Service Heritage Documentation Programs), Richard M. Casella (Historic Documentation Company), and James L. Garvin (New Hampshire State Architectural Historian, Retired).
Thank you to the following who have repaired, maintained, protected, designed, and/or cared for the covered bridges and for sharing that work with me:
Josif Bicja, P.E., and Matthew J. Low, P.E. (Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc.), C.R. Willeke, P.E., David L. Scott, P.E., and Dan Caouette (New Hampshire Department of Transportation), Matthew Belden and Scott Sweet (Daniels Construction), Brett Wright and Joe Poston (Wright Construction), Steve Cole, Mike Cole, and Michele MacKenzie (E.D. Swett, Inc.), Richard Thompson (Sunrise Woodworks), E. Davies Allan (Chesterfield Associates), Chris Chauvin (CCS Constructors, Inc.), Nathan Puffer (Groton Timberworks), Jason C. Ross, P.E. (HEB Engineers), William P. Patenaude (Alpine Construction), Mitchell Bois (CPM Constructors), Dennis Thompson (Northern New England Field Services), Bob Stevens (Stevens & Associates, PC), Dana Southworth (Garland Mill), Will Truax (The Truax Timberwright Woodworks), Jan Lewandoski (Restoration and Traditional Building), Steven M. Sass (Crestline Industries, Inc.), and Gary Paul (Protectowire).
And, my sincerest gratitude for the research assistance I received from the following individuals. Their responsiveness, resourcefulness, and more importantly, their kindness, are greatly appreciated.
Rebecca Stockbridge and Charles Shipman (New Hampshire State Library), Katie Corbett (New Hampshire Historical Society), Yvette Toledo (New Hampshire State Archives), Tanya E. Krajcik, Robert F. Spoerl, Seth S. Prescott, and Johanna Lyons (New Hampshire Department of Natural & Cultural Resources), Dave Anderson (Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests), Missie Swift (Fall Mountain Regional High School Library), Amy Markus (Hancock Library), and Angela Fields (Virginia Tech/Newman Library).
Winchester Bridges: Jenn Bellan (Winchester Historical Society), Karey Miner, Danielle Roy, and Jim Tetreault (Town of Winchester). Swanzey Bridges: Alan Rumrill (Historical Society of Cheshire County), Jo Gregory (Swanzey Historical Society), Michael T. Branley and Ashley Patnode (Town of Swanzey), Francis Faulkner, Ed Jenks, Judy Jenks Merriman, and Robert Goodby. Hancock/Greenfield Bridge: Roberta Nylander (1937–2021) and Ruth Wilder (Hancock Historical Society), Alisha Blanchette Davis and Linda Coughlin (Town of Hancock). Hopkinton Bridges: Heather Mitchell and Elissa Barr (Hopkinton Historical Society), Neal Cass and Dan Blanchette (Town of Hopkinton), Mark Winzeler and Steve Lux, Jr. (Contoocook Riverway Association), Lexy Heatley, and James Sindelar. Warner Bridges: Lynn Clark and Rebecca Courser (Warner Historical Society) and Michele Courser (Town of Warner). Bement Bridge, Bradford: Tracey Quigley (Bradford Historical Society) and Karen Hambleton (Town of Bradford). Andover Bridges: Gail Richards and Luan Clark (Andover Historical Society) and Marjorie Roy (Town of Andover). Newport Bridges: Larry and Jackie Cote (Newport Historical Society), Hunter F. Riesberg and Todd Cartier (Town of Newport), Patrick O’Grady, Gerrie Black, Margot Estabrook, and Mary Schissel. Langdon Bridges: Linda Christie and Diane Collins (Town of Langdon), Marilyn Stuller, and Pat Sutcliffe. Cornish Bridges: Laird Klingler and Caroline Storrs (Cornish Historical Society), Vi Welker, Mike Welker, Kathryn Grover, Pamela Bagley, Bridget Fariel, and Barbara Rhoad (Windsor Historical Association), Mary Curtis (Town of Cornish), Barbara Ball (Windsor Public Library), and Leo Maslan. Meriden Bridge, Plainfield: Jane Stephenson (Plainfield Historical Society), Stephen Halleran (Town of Plainfield), Steve Taylor, and Philip Zea. Edgell Bridge, Lyme: Laurie Wadsworth (Lyme Historians), Steven Williams (Town of Lyme), and Adair Mulligan (Lyme Heritage Commission). Bath Bridges: Craig Pursley (Bath Historical Society), Carmen Graham and Pamela Murphy (Town of Bath), Bernie Prochnik (Bath Library), Brigitte Codling (Town of Haverhill), Glenn English, and Bill Dolack. Lancaster Bridges: Anne Morgan and Betty Newell (Lancaster Historical Society) and Barbara Robarts (Weeks Memorial Library). Groveton Bridge, Northumberland: Robin Irving (Town of Northumberland) and Greg Cloutier. Columbia Bridge, Columbia: Stacey Campbell (Columbia Historical Society), Beth Ellingwood (Town of Lemington), Marcia Parkhurst (Town of Columbia), Sharon Alleman, Kevin Gray, and Gerald Gray. Pittsburg Bridges: David Covill (Pittsburg Historical Society). Stark Bridge, Stark: Dennis Lunn (Stark Historical Society), Sue Croteau (Town of Stark), and Deborah Joyce. Franconia Notch State Park Bridges: Carol Riley (Lincoln Public Library) and Amy Swift (Franconia Notch State Park). Campton Bridges: Nancy Mardin and Bob Pulsifer (Campton Historical Society), Sharon Davis (Town of Campton), and Pedro Pinto (Branch Brook Campground). Smith Bridge, Plymouth: Louise McCormack (Plymouth Historical Society), Robert Canham (MSE Power Systems), and Henry Ahern, Jr. Durgin Bridge, Sandwich: Jennifer Wright, Lauren Hansen, and Jim Mykland (Sandwich Historical Society) and Kelly Cox (Town of Sandwich). Whittier Bridge, Ossipee: Lois Sweeney (Ossipee Historical Society), Jen Allen (Ossipee Public Library), Matt Sawyer, Tony J. “TJ” Eldridge, and Kellie Skehan (Town of Ossipee), and Robert Gillette. Conway Bridges: Bob Cottrell (Conway Historical Society), Tom Holmes (Town of Conway), Mark Hounsell, Cynthia Briggs, and Doug Briggs. Albany Bridge, Albany: Kelley Collins (Town of Albany), Rick Alimi and Marianne Leberman (United States Forest Service), Donna Weiss (White Mountain National Forest), and Peter J. Don Konics II. Bartlett Bridge, Bartlett: Phil Franklin (Bartlett Historical Society) and Dan and Nancy Wanek (Covered Bridge Shoppe). Jackson Bridge, Jackson: Anne Pillion (Jackson Historical Society), Julie Hoyt (Town of Jackson), and Kathy Menici. Sulphite Bridge, Franklin: Leigh Webb (Franklin Historical Society). Clark’s Bridge: Callum D.S. Grant and Carol Govoni (Clark’s Bears) and Paul Thibault (Cincinnati Insurance Company). Squam River Bridge, Ashland: David Ruell and Stephen Jaquith (Ashland Historical Society) and Patricia Tucker (Town of Ashland). Packard Hill Bridge, Lebanon: Nicole Ford Burley (Lebanon Historical Society), and Robert Kline and Christina B. Hall, P.E. (City of Lebanon). Tannery Hill Bridge, Gilford: Meghan Theriault, P.E. (Town of Gilford) and Alice Boucher (Gilford Rotary Club). Stowell Road Bridge, Merrimack: Anita Creager (Merrimack Historical Society), Dawn B. Tuomala, P.E. (Town of Merrimack), John Starkey, and David Clemens (Wheeler Consolidated). Boxed Pony Bridges: Chris Benedetto (Rollinsford Historical Society) and David Potter (Wilton Historical Society).
I am grateful to Zak Johnson, Grace Peirce, and Deidre Randall of Peter E. Randall Publisher, and Jennifer Dolce, of Pathway Book Services, for their support of my first publishing endeavor; to my longtime friend Steve Hebert for his technical assistance; to Mike Kinsella from Arcadia Publishing for first believing in this project; and to my mom and dad for believing in me.
Finally, I am grateful for my husband, Marshell, and our beloved dog, Pemi, who traveled all over the state with me. There are no better companions.