Archive for the ‘Swift River Bridge’ Tag

Not So Fast   10 comments

Not So Fast


Rainy days while on vacation aren’t always bad. If the weather keeps you from hiking, you can always drive around and look for good photo opportunities, knowing that the midday sun won’t be a problem. (I say that just to cheer myself up.)

On a road that used to be a well-kept secret lies the Swift River Bridge, built in 1869, which would make it 142 years old. (I say that just to demonstrate my limited math skills.)

Originally built in 1850, it stood until 1869. At that time, heavy rains swelled the river, lifting the bridge from its foundation, turning it around, and sending it downstream into the Saco River Covered Bridge, which was knocked off its moorings. Both damaged structures broke up and came to rest two miles downstream. In a demonstration of Yankee thrift, much of the lumber salvaged from these two bridges was used in the building of the new Swift River Covered Bridge constructed by Jacob Berry and his son Jacob Jr. The current bridge was bypassed when a new concrete and steel bridge was built nearby in 1974.

I was heartbroken when I heard about a number of covered bridges in Vermont being washed away in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Some bridges were 250 years old. As before, perhaps they’ll be replaced with new bridges, but there’s nothing like seeing one of these old beauties standing the test of time.

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