Covered bridges worldwide are given a number by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB). For bridges in the United States, these numbers delineate first the state, then the county, then a number. For example, the Meriden Bridge in Plainfield is numbered NH/29-10-08. Historic bridges that have been reconstructed, such as the Corbin Bridge, are numbered as NH/29-10-05#2, indicating it has been replaced. The NSPCB’s 2021 publication, World Guide to Covered Bridges, lists historic and modern covered bridges.
New Hampshire has its own numbering system which began in 1957 with the publication, New Hampshire’s Covered Bridges. Written by Thedia Cox Kenyon and illustrated by Stan Snow, the book contained a new numbering system for the then fifty-five covered bridges in the state. The book featured a map showing driving routes from bridge number one in the southwest corner of the state, up through the north country, and down toward the seacoast, ending at fifty-five. The numbers were assigned in an orderly fashion according to the map.
Proceeds from the book were given to the Covered Bridge Association of New Hampshire (CBANH) to erect numbered markers directing motorists to the bridge locations. A one-year membership in the CBANH was extended to the buyer. While the CBANH no longer exists, the bridges are still numbered as such.
Today, the New Hampshire covered bridges numbered by the state total 58. Nine of the original 55 bridges have been lost, leaving their original number unassigned out of respect. Twelve bridges have been added to the list.
There are, however, other covered bridges in the state that are not assigned a state number. Many localities, golf courses, private homes, and resorts are home to covered structures that contribute to the landscape of the Granite State.