Although covered bridges can be found as far away as Oregon, it is New England that is considered to be the ‘home’ of these unusual bridges. If you are interested in seeing covered bridges and not sure of the best place to see them, then Vermont has a simple statistical claim to be the place to go. It has 107 authentic covered bridges located throughout the state, and being a relatively small state it has more covered bridges per square mile than any other US state.
Slaughter House Covered Bridge, Northfield
Slaughter House Bridge was built around 1872. It is a Queenpost bridge with a span of 18 metres (59 feet) carrying Slaughter House Road (formerly Bailey Road) over the Dog River. This is the only covered bridge in the Northfield area that has not been structurally altered. It is still open to traffic but carries only the occasional vehicle as the road only goes to the now abandoned site of the slaughterhouse after which the bridge was named.
Upper Cox Covered Bridge (or Third Bridge), Northfield Falls
If you want to see covered bridges without travelling too far, then the Northfield area is the place to go, there are several such bridges in the area. Cox Brook Road has three covered bridges in 400 metres (1/4 mile) as it crosses and re-crosses Cox Brook. The Upper Cox Bridge is the last as you go along the road and hence is also known as the Third Bridge. It is thought to have been built around 1872 but the exact date and the identity of the builder are unknown. This 15.5 metre (51 foot) span uses a Queenpost truss which is the simplest type of truss comprising a triangle at each end and a rectangle in between them. The Upper Cox Bridge was strengthened in 1966 with the addition of four steel beams. Click Tab 2 to see a diagram of a Queenpost Truss.
Emily's Covered Bridge, Stowe
This is the only Howe Truss bridge in Vermont. The Howe truss was designed in 1840 by Massachusetts builder William Howe. It is similar in design to the Long Truss but the timber verticals have been replaced by adjustable iron bars. Emily’s Bridge has a 15 metre (50 foot) span over Gold Brook. The bridge is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a woman called Emily, but there is several competing stories about who she was and how she died. Click Tab 2 to see a diagram of a Howe Truss.
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Dummerston Bridge near West Dummerston
Dummerston Bridge is a Town Lattice bridge built across the West River in 1872 by Caleb B. Lamson. The Town Lattice was patented in 1820 by Connecticut architect Ithiel Town and is a truss of diagonal timbers cris-crossing between timber top and bottom rails. At 85 metres (280 feet) long the two span Dummerston Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Vermont. This picture was taken in 1985 when the bridge was in a poor state of repair. It was completely rebuilt in 1998. Click Tab 2 to see a diagram of a Town Lattice.
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Emily's Covered Bridge, Stowe