martin bridge

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Martin Bridge. Photo by Joe Nelson, June 2, 2004
Martin Bridge {WGN 45-12-06]
Moved by Renaud Construction Company, the bridge
stands near its abutments awaiting repairs
Photos by Joe Nelson, June 2, 2004
Martin Bridge. Photo by Joe Nelson, June 2, 2004
"X" bracing installed to reenforce structure to allow bridge to be lifted.
Martin Bridge. Photo by Joe Nelson, June 2, 2004
All four of the lower chord ends are rotted.
Martin Bridge. Photo by Joe Nelson, June 2, 2004
A view of the cut stone abutments.

Marshfield's Martin Bridge Removed from River

Marshfield, Vt., May 18, 2004 - The 114-year old Martin Bridge was lifted from over the Winooski River and set down in the adjacent field for renovation. The work was done by the Renaud Brothers Construction Company.
       The Town of Marshfield is seeking grants to fund the renovation of the bridge. Land sales by the town may also be used to help fund the work.
       Charles Thorndike, of New Hampton, N.H., gave the town of Marshfield the 120 acre property, valued at $87,200, in exchange for the $1,300 he owed in school taxes. The selectboard agreed to the deal. (For details, click on "Marshfield Makes a Bridge Deal" above.)
       The Martin Bridge, also known as the Orton Bridge, is in very poor condition and probably would not have survived many more years without intervention. John Weaver, PE, Bridge-watch Coordinator for the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, after reading about the gift of the Martin Bridge to the town: "Marshfield Makes a Deal", in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, contacted the Marshfield selectboard and volunteered to evaluate the bridge at no cost. (Click on "Martin Bridge Inspected" above)
       The World Guide to Covered Bridges, published by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, lists the Martin Bridge as number 45-12-06, built in 1890, 45 feet long using the queen post truss, located one mile north of the main intersection in Plainfield, on US2.
       *The Town of Marshfield was granted to the Stockbridge Indian Tribe by the General Assembly of Vermont in 1790. The Indians intended to settle here, but after white settlements were founded around their town, they sold it to Captain Isaac Marsh of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The Indians moved on to the then unsettled forests of New York.
       William Martin was an early settler of Marshfield. He bought a farm about a mile north of Plainfield Village and resided there until 1840. His farm was reputed to be one of the finest on the headwaters of the Winooski River. The Ortons bought the old Martin place and gave it their name for a time.
       The Martin Bridge, or Orton Farm Bridge, crosses the Winooski River in a pasture south of Route 2. Built in 1890, it is believed by some to be the last surviving example of the work of Herman F. Townsend.
       The forty-five-foot queenpost truss structure is privately owned, serving as access to property isolated by the river. It stands high on abutments of cut granite and rubble stone laid dry. A cattle gate is hinged at one of the queenposts.
[*Short history adapted from Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges, by Joseph C. Nelson.]

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted June 6, 2004