Covered Bridges of New Hampshire is an engaging and well-illustrated history of the remaining covered bridges in the Granite State. The 288-page, full color, softcover features the author’s own current day photography of all sixty-one covered bridges, paired with historical photos in a then-and-now-theme.
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.
The histories of the historic covered bridges of New Hampshire have been collected with exhaustive research and constant fact-checking. The new book has been endorsed by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, with co-Vice President Scott Wagner saying, “This book is a must-have reference guide and historical resource for everyone who appreciates covered bridges” and President Bill Caswell stating, “Kim has thoroughly researched each bridge and provided documentation to support, and sometimes correct, the stories found in other books and periodicals.”
New Hampshire was once home to over 300 covered bridges. 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.
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 that 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.