November 14, 2010

Built: A Covered Bridge in Bath, New Hampshire

We've had some beautiful weather the past few days, so on Thursday I took a short drive to a lovely village in New Hampshire to photograph some houses and this remarkable bridge. As you can see by the sign, it was built in 1832, making it one of the oldest in the United States; it is the longest covered bridge in New Hampshire. But the statistics don't convey the wonder and romance of an old wooden covered bridge, a reminder of times long past. It is startling to see a car approaching down this long span; a horse drawn carriage seems more appropriate.

The great beauty of this bridge is in the enormous arches that support the structure, known as a Burr Arch. I love looking at the complex weave of wood on walls and above my head, marveling that it has lasted so long. I had always thought that bridges were covered to keep out the weather, which is true, but I thought it was for the convenience of travelers in inclement weather. It turns out that covering the wood structure preserved it from rapid decay. And the Bath covered bridge, along with others around the country remain to point to our sturdy heritage.


  1. This isn't the one between Cornish and Windsor is it? We drove over that one when we went to visit St. Gauden's house and garden.

  2. Nope, it's in Bath, in northern NH, close to where I live. There are lots of covered bridges in the northeast.

  3. The raised walkway/sidewalk (which isn't even designated as such) is a trip hazard.
    There are no warning signs or marker strips and it is very dark in the bridge, even on the brightest of sunny days the darkness inside with the bright light shining through the few portals creates disability glare.
    Lovely example of a covered bridge, but be careful not to trip and fall, especially if there is a vehicle passing, as one could easily fall in the path of a vehicle.