Songo Blue Skies

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thoughts about covered bridges

Durgen Bridge

Well, seems like the February thaw is over; the water is frozen again in my back yard. Spring bulbs have poked their heads above the frozen ground teasing me, but alas I will have to wait for their beautiful colors a bit longer.

Speaking of frozen water. The picture of Durgen Bridge was taken by standing on the frozen river bed. This part of the river was very frozen; no sign of open water. Isn't walking of water fun? I have taken many pictures of this bridge before, which is over the Cold River near North Sandwich, NH, but this is the best picture yet.

Covered bridges fascinate me as they do a lot of people. I think partly because they are remnants from the past. They certainly can add color to the countryside; those that are painted red or green also look great against snow covered rivers.

So why were these bridges covered? Around 1800 people had moved beyond the immediate coast and New England has many rivers and streams. Everyone needed to cross these rivers on a regular basis. Trees were pleantiful so they built the bridges of wood, but the only problem was the weather did a number on them especially rotting the superstructures. A typical uncovered bridge would last about 9 years whereas a covered bridge would last 30 years or more. It was the trusses that needed the most protection.

Well enough of the history lesson. The sun is down, I need some dinner and my daughter's dog, Tinkerbell, will need a walk soon.


Anonymous said...

I love covered bridges, too! I lived in the country in Michigan for 4 years and I used to take long drives. Once I found a covered bridge in a town called Ada.
I also love to hear the history of houses and buildings and stuff. Seems the older you get the more you want to know! Thank you for sharing with me!

matthew houskeeper said...

Covered bridges are unique, and like lighthouses, wooden ships, and old barns, they are a utilitarian and beautiful at the same time.

I really like your blog.
I am glad i found it.