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The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Newsletter - Fall 2010


President's Column
Important Notices
Events Committee - Annual Fall Meeting announced
Bridge Watch
Historical Committee Report
VCBS Library
Covered Bridge Community News Notes
For Sale
Fall Meeting - Maps
President's Logo

Our October meeting place at the Kellog-Hubbard Library in Montpelier has been secured and I am looking forward to our knowledgeable speaker's (Robert McCullough) presentation. Hope to see you all there on the 23rd of that month.

With the exception of those from Ray Hitchcock (re: Williamsville and Worrall CB's) and Bill Carroll (bridge inspections-this issue) Bridge Watch reports have been somewhat scarce lately. Perhaps with the fall of autumn leaves, these will be more forth-coming. Bridge Watch is one of the most important things that we do for our organization.

Yours in bridging, John Weaver, President, VCBS

VCBS Officers
    John Weaver, President
    Joseph Nelson, Vice President
    Irene Barna, Secretary
    Neil Daniels, Treasurer
Bridger Newsletter Staff
    Ray Hitchcock, Editor
    Joseph Nelson, Staff Writer
    802-899-2093 jcnelson@together.net
Newsletter Deadlines
    Spring Issue - February 28
    Summer Issue - May 31
    Fall Issue - August 31
    Winter Issue - November 30

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Notice Logo

      Wanted, a newsletter editor trainee to ultimately take over the editorship of The Bridger, a key position in the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's out-reach.

      Wanted, reporter/correspondents to bring local covered bridge news to The Bridger. For more informa-tion or to sign up, please contact Joe Nelson, Communication Committee Chair, jcnelson@together.net

      Volunteer worker-bees are needed by the Events Committee to help set up meetings and assist in hosting them. For details contact Suzanne Daniels, Events Committee Chair: 802.885.5517 or neildaniels2003@yahoo.com

      Needed: Volunteer to serve as membership coordinator assisting Membership Committee Chair, Suzanne Daniels. Contact Suzanne at: 802.885.5517.

Election of Officers

In accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, John Weaver, President; Joseph Nelson, Vice President; Neil Daniels, Treasurer; and Irene Barna, Secretary, were re-elected to office to serve two-year terms beginning January 1, 2010. These terms will expire January, 2012.
      The election process will begin when the society newsletter summer issue elicits candidates for president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Candidates will submit bios to be published in the fall issue with the ballot. Voters will return the ballots provided in the fall issue of the society newsletter by the published deadline for the winter issue of the society newsletter, in which the winners will be announced. (The incumbent officers will serve until midnight, December 31.)
      Every member in good standing is entitled to vote. This includes the adult members listed on a Family membership and the contact person on a Business or Organization/Municipality membership.

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Events Logo

Our Annual Fall Meeting will be held on 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., October 23, 2010 at the Kellog-Hubbard Library Meeting Room at 135 Main Street, Montpelier. Free on-street parking is available in front and alongside the library on Saturdays.
      The speaker will be Robert McCullough. "The topic will be Preservation Treatment 4 in the Vermont Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Plan: Co-functional, reversible, secondary structural systems employing glu-laminated girders. The goal is to engage in dialogue about what are sometimes very difficult choices. For example, I would be much happier with that solution on the Williamsville Covered Bridge than the complete reconstruction currently underway." --Robert McCullough.
      Bob McCullough, author of Crossings, A History of Vermont Bridges (2005), teaches in the graduate Program for Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont and is co-manager of the Vermont Historic Bridge Program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.


10:00 a.m. Business Meeting
11:00 a.m. The speaker
12:00 p.m. Break
- After the break, attendees are free to visit the five local covered bridges. See the insert for a map to the bridges.
- Because of library rules, there will be no sales table or drawing.
- Snack will be provided during the meeting. Lunch on own at restaurants nearby from high end to pubs: Black Door; Angeleno's Pizza; Capital Grill: McGillicuddy's Pub, among others.
- For directions to the meeting place see the map insert in this issue.

The Annual Spring Meeting is Slated for April 9, 2011 in Middlebury, Vt. at the Ilsley Public Library Community Room. Further details will be published in subsequent issues of this newsletter.


2010 Pioneers Safari, September 25 & 26
- by George Conn

The area we will be visiting can be described as southern Vermont and New Hampshire. It straddles the border between eastern Vermont and western New Hampshire. We will be headquartered in Springfield, Vermont which is close to both the Connecticut River (the border between VT and NH) and I-91.
The motel Accommodations are at the Holiday Inn Express at Springfield, Vermont.
Room Rate: $89/night + 9% tax. NOTE: By the end of September, this area of New England is getting into the fall tourist season. The room rate we have is well below the moteles regular rate. As an additional favor, management has agreed to honor that rate for the two days prior to our safari (Wednesday & Thursday) and the two days following our safari (Sunday and Mon-day). So, if you are staying extra days, be sure to re-quest the rate for the Pioneers Safari group.
Room type: double beds
Reservations Reserve by phoning (make sure you let them know that you are with the Pioneers Safari group).
Complete motel information: Holiday Inn Express at Springfield, VT, 818 Charlestown Road, Springfield, VT 05156, (802) 885-4516. More information, including photos, is available on the internet. A block of rooms has been set aside for our group and reservations are being accepted now.
Contacts: George Conn, georgeconn1@verizon.net, or Bill Caswell, bill@lostbridges.org


Vermont Historical Society Expo at Tunbridge:

Neil Daniels coordinating - The Expo was held on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27 with the theme; Vermont Heritage - Ways for Today.
      Those who 'manned' the booth met many new people, including interested and curious young, along with seasoned citizens with covered bridge tales to tell.
      We also made sales of covered bridge items amounting to $80.50, which will go directly to our growing Save-a-bridge fund.
      Many thanks to Neil and Suzanne Daniels, Johnny Esau, Wilfred Thompson, Bill Carroll, Irene Barna, Joe Nelson, and to those members who dropped by to lend their support.       In 2009 the Vermont Historical Society eliminated the event because of cost and the condition of the economy. We expect the event will be held again in 2012, if the creeks don't rise.

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Bridgewatch Logo

Bridge-watch report June 2010 highlights
by Bill Carroll

Green River Bridge [45-13-04]- Sand and gravel on the deck, which is usual at this bridge as all roads in the area are gravel. Lower chords clean. While I was there a motorcyclist crossing the bridge ran off the running planks and flipped. Fortunately a light weight motorcycle and we got it back upright and off the bridge. He said he had left his sun glasses on and was blind inside the bridge. Apparently no in-jury to him, and no spillage of gas or oil on the bridge.
Creamery Bridge, Brattleboro [45-13-01]- Closed, and work was still being done in the park setting around the bridge. There are slates missing from the west side of the roof. Bridge was clean.
Hall Bridge [45-13-07#2]- Last time I was there saw minor damage on the portals, as if an over wide load, maybe hay bales or tree branches, had crossed and scraped the sides. The portals have been re-paired. Bridge is clean, lower chords clean. Some of the brush and shrubs along the river has been cut back so the bridge is more visible from Rte. 121.
Kidder Hill Bridge [45-13-03]- Gravel on the deck, which is chronic here. Otherwise is clean. Trucks are using the ford rather than the bridge.
McWilliam Bridge [45-13-E]- Bridge is clean and in good condition as usual.

Williamsville Bridge Replica Moves to River
WGN 45-13-05#2

Williamsville Bridge replica. Photo by Gunther Garbe, Aug. 2, 2010
Williamsville Bridge replica backs under cables . photo by G. Garbe, August 2, 2010
August 2 - Gunther Garbe and his wife Elsie live nearby on Newfane Hill Road. They have been following the bridges progress for several months.
      Gunther produced an interesting sequence of pictures of the bridge being backed from its building site to the abutments one-quarter of a mile down the road. This included some cooperation and delicate work of the cable company to move cables for the tall roof. Finally he shows pictures of the bridge being pushed on rollers on to the temporary support structure.
      The trucker was expert in his backing so that final effort to line up the bridge with the scaffolding was less than expected. -- Ray Hitchcock

Worrall Bridge Renovation Found Complete
August 5, 2010 WGN 45-13-10

Worrall Bridge. Photo by Ray Hitchcock, Aug. 5, 2010
Worrall Bridge renovation completed . photo by Ray Hitchcock, August 5, 2010
      I was away when the bridge was completed but I assume it was before the end of July - which was the deadline. I drove across the bridge on August 5th and was all smiles.
      I noted that the fire alarm was not yet in-stalled but the wiring for it had been started. The alarm and adjacent dry hydrant should be good insurance from the ever present firebugs.
      I think the old bridge looks great and in ad-dition the site cleanup, approach railings, etc. add a lot to the bridge's appearance. - Ray Hitchcock

Roving Bridge-watch Inspection Vehicle
Roving Bridge-watch Inspection Vehicle

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historical_committee logo

by William Carroll, Historical Committee Chair

      At present the Historical Committee is going through the VCBS archives and developing a collection for each of the bridges for which we have records. These are supplemented by copies from various published works and from information found on the Internet. So far we have completed Addison County, with our and additional material for the five existing bridges there and for two lost bridges for which the archives has some information. At the present we are working on the bridges in Bennington County for which we have any information. Spade Farm Bridge [45-01-02], also known as Old Hollow Bridge, was originally located on Old Hollow Road in the center of North Ferrisburgh. The bridge is a lattice truss, 66 feet long, and in its original location crossed Lewis Creek in a built-up area.
      According to Richard Sanders Allen it was built around 1850, although Joseph C. Nelson in Spanning Time and other sources give the date of 1824 for its construction. In 1958 the bridge was dismantled to make room for a more modern and wider span.
      It was acquired by local dairyman Sam Spade, and erected on his property adjacent to U.S. 7 near Little Otter Creek, a short distance south of the Ferrisburgh Town Hall. The bridge was next to a restaurant parking lot and crossed a part of a small pond. Since the bridge was on private land and privately owned, state or federal funds were not avail-able for repairs, and the bridge deteriorated.
      It was purchased by the Ferrisburgh Artisans Group, a non-profit organization of Vermont artists and artisans along with the adjacent old farmhouse. Numerous repairs were made to the bridge at that time, particularly to the floor and roof. However the bridge was found to be in poor condition in 2008 and was being used as a storage shed.
Vermont Street & Road Atlas. American Maps, 2006.
Covered spans of yesteryear. http://www.lostbridges.org
Nelson, Joseph C. Spanning time, 1997.
Evans, Benjamin D. and June R. Evans, New England's Covered bridges, 2004.
Historic USGS Maps of New England http://docs.unh.edu/nhtopos/nhtopos.htm
Nelson, Joseph C., The Ferrisburgh Artisans Guild and the Spade Farm Bridge, 1999, at http://www.vermontbridges.com/ferrisbg.htm

Vergennes Bridge, also known as Monkton Road Bridge, was a 55 foot long lattice truss bridge which carried Monkton Road across Little Otter Creek in the easterly part of Ferrisburgh. The date that the bridge was built is unknown. It was replaced in 1951 by a modern bridge, and the road straightened to avoid the sharp bends on the bridge approaches. Although the area is now mostly rural and agricultural, around the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries it was very busy with mills and forges along Little Otter Creek, and transportation of ore and iron castings from the Monkton area to Vergennes.
      Vergennes, at the western end of Monkton Road, was chartered in 1788 as a city, for the purpose of developing an industrial center at the falls of Otter Creek, a major source of water power. Below the falls in Vergennes, Otter Creek is navigable to Lake Champlain, providing a transportation route to the north and south. Vergennes was also the northern terminus of the Waltham Turnpike, which connected to other turnpikes of the ca. 1800 period and provided good road access to southern and eastern New England. From Vergennes, Monkton Road leads easterly across Ferrisburgh into Monkton, where branches split off to run to Monkton Center, the Monkton ore beds, and the Bristol ore beds. These ore beds were, during the late 1700s and early 1800s, a significant source of iron ore. A number of forges and furnaces were in operation during those years, particularly in Vergennes where cannon and other armament were made for the War of 1812.
      Around 1800 there were said to be two forges on Little Otter Creek, one just above the Monkton Road bridge, and one below, along with a small settlement of iron workers near the bridge. It is unlikely that Vergennes Bridge was built early enough to play any part in the industrial history of the area, at least before the latter part of the area's iron industry.
      Little or no trace of the early industries around the Vergennes Bridge site remains.
Vermont Street & Road Atlas. American Maps, 2006.
Covered spans of yesteryear. http://www.lostbridges.org
Historic USGS Maps of New England http://docs.unh.edu/nhtopos/nhtopos.htm
Ferrisburgh Vermont Industrial History, http://www.vermontgenealogy.com/addison/ferrisburgh_vermont_industrial_history.htm
First Annual Report on the Geology of the State of Vermont / C. B. Adams, State Geologist : 1845. http://books.google.com/
Vergennes, Vermont, http://en.wikipedia.org/

What's in a name? Has anyone ever heard of Ver-mont Bridge? Ites an existing bridge, in Middlebury. The world knows of this bridge as Halpin Bridge [45-01-03], but according to the federal government, its official name is Vermont Bridge.
      In cataloging our records and sending them to the Library of Congress, we find that they are re-quired to use the .officiale name for the bridge. However they cooperate by adding the name or names that I send. \The Geographic Names Infor-mation System (GNIS) is the Federal and national standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the offi-cial repository of domestic geographic names data, the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.. (from their web-site) Most of the names they use are taken from such sources as publicity brochures, commercial map at-lases, and such. While many are correct, many do not provide the commonly used names. We will be in touch with GNIS to try to have them adopt the nomenclature as used by VCBS.

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Book Logo

A Reminder; Don't Let A Learning/Research
Source Go To Waste

The Vermont Covered Bridge Society has set up a lending library available to all Society members-in-good standing through media mail.
      Librarian Warren Tripp has created a de-tailed booklist complete with a description and cri-tique of each book. Copies of the index are available by mail, or you may contact Warren Tripp at fftwbt@yahoo.com, or Joe Nelson at jcnel-son@together.net for a PDF copy.
      To borrow a book contact Warren Tripp who will send the book by Postal Service Media Mail. Books are returned the same way. Send Warren the complete title of the book(s) you wish to borrow. He will respond with the mailing cost and mail the or-der when the fee is received. The borrower is then responsible to return the item(s) in a reasonable time, preferably not more than two months.
      Contact: Warren Tripp, P. O. Box 236, Groton, VT 05046, Phone (802) 584-3545

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Membership Logo

By Suzanne Daniels, Chair, Membership Committee

      Please join me in welcoming new members George and Susan Harrington of Provo, Utah. Mr. and Mrs. Harrington are residents of Bomoseen, Vermont from May to October. A warm welcome to you.
      A new update of our membership roster finds that we have 145 memberships. This includes 76 annual memberships; 55 Individual, 17 Family, 1 Business, and 3 Organizations. In addition, we have 39 Life members, 20 Life Couple Memberships, and 5 Honorary Life members. This totals 177 members scattered from coast to coast and Canada. We are small but mighty.
      Unhappily, 24 memberships are still in ar-rears with their dues. This is unfortunate, as we commented in the last issue.when our Society makes a donation to help save a bridge that money comes from our general funds while we continue to build our separate Save-a-bridge Fund. The general funds come from dues and donations.
      So, you folks who havenet paid your dues yet, or havenet made that donation yet, please do so soon. Check your Bridger mailing label for your membership status code. If you see code (07), (08), or (09).tag! You are it!

Birthdays and Anniversaries
4 Johnny Esau
5 Robert Salvi
9 Tom Walczak
10 Gordon & Priscilla O'Reilly
15 Henry Rowse
15 Lou & Mary Zabbia
17 Doris Taylor
21 Bonnie & Leroy Shultz
21 Wilfred Thompson
25 Bonnie Shultz
27 Johnny & Joanne Esau
29 June Evans
9 Erwin & Virginia Eckson
11 Trish Kane
20 Phil Pierce
21 John & Joanne Billie
22 Ellen Everitz
28 Joyce Soroka
13 Bruce Wagner
15 Linda Crouse
18 Euclid Farnham
18 Bob and Mary Ann Waller
22 Marikka Guay
25 Richard & Gloria Davis

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Update on Historic Hyde Hall Covered Bridge [NY-39-01] - Estimates are being sought for repairs to the roof on the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge, but due to New York State budget cuts, there isn't much money to work with this year. Outside funding and/or possible grant money is needed in order for the roof to be fully repaired. Anyone wishing to donate monies should direct their donation to: Richard Sheckells, Park Manager, Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 County Highway 31, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Your donation will be put into the Natural Heritage Trust account that is earmarked for the covered bridge roof material. Once enough money is raised, Rich hopes to be able to coordinate the labor as a combined effort between Glimmerglass employees and the regional restoration/rehab crew. If you are able, please consider a donation to this worthy cause and help preserve this historic landmark. NOTE: We would like to personally thank the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges for their pledge to help repair the roof on the Hyde Hall. It is very much appreciated. - Trish Kane

Exciting News on the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center - We are very pleased to announce that the secure room where the delicate photographs, slides and other sensitive material will be housed is now complete. And … the center itself has a fresh coat of paint. It really looks very nice. Construction on the bookshelves for the center will begin in October.
      Although we have made much progress over the last two months, we are far from being ready to open the center to the public. Your assistance is still needed. If you havenet already done so, we would again encourage you to consider a gift to the center. Each donation will assist in furnishing the room in some important way. For more information, contact us at bob-trish68@frontiernet.net or by phone at 607-674-9656.
- Trish Kane

A Driving Tour of New York's Covered Bridge - Would you like to see New York's Covered Bridges in the comfort of your own automobile? Well, now that journey is much easier. The Driving Tour of New York's Covered Bridges is now complete and will be available to the public October 1st, just in time for the autumn season
      The full color tour includes turn by turn driving instructions, statistics and color photos of each bridge along with a brief history (including some old photos/postcards) of each of New York's 33 covered bridges.
- Trish Kane

Moscow Covered Bridge Dedication and Opening,
Saturday, September 25!
WGN 14-70-07#2

Moscow, IN, August 17, 2010 - Both spans have been lifted into place, and the framing has all been completed. This week the siding and roofing will be started. Work will be continuing on the flooring. Everything is going on schedule at this time with the dedication and opening of the bridge to be Saturday, September 25.
      We are still in the planning stages of the dayes events, which will begin with a breakfast by the bridge from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. and will be served to those with reservations made in advance. Tickets can be obtained for a do-nation of $10 each and can be purchased at the home of Linda Baker in Moscow or at any of the Main Source Bank locations in Greensburg, Rushville and Shelbyville (Indiana). If you want to order tickets by mail or need more information, call Susie Kendall at 812-871-4967.

Grants to Improve Lane County Covered Bridges

Lane County, OR, July 7, 2010 - Two of Lane County's 17 historic covered bridges will soon receive needed im-provements thanks to federal grant funds. Mosby Creek Bridge, WGN 37-20-27, will be repaired using a grant of $897,300. Also to be repaired is the Deadwood Bridge, WGN 37-28-38 with a grant of $181,270*

Union County, Pennsylvania Covered Bridges Under Repair

Union County, PA, July 29, 2010 - Three of Union County's Covered bridges are under repair: the Millmont or Red - WGN 38-60-01, the Iddings Bridge, and the Laurel Park Bridge. [The descriptions in the article of these last two bridges are so obscure, I am unwilling to guess what the WGN numbers might be -Ed.]*

Historic West Dummerston covered bridge gets LED lights
- WGN 35-13-02

West Dummerston, VT, July 01, 2010 - Vermont's West Dummerston Covered Bridge, built in 1872, got a 21st century makeover this past weekend with the addi-tion of 10 LED (light emitting diode) fixtures, which will replace the old and inefficient lights.*

Cincinnati Man Charged With Destruction of Stonelick Williams CB
- WGN 35-13-02

Clermont County, OH, June 18, 2010 - The Clermont County Sheriff's Office has now charged 52-year-old Sean Jackson of Cincinnati with operating a motor vehicle in excess of the restricted weight limit; he allegedly drove a Recycling truck, weighing more than 23,250 pounds, across the covered bridge with a 6,000 pound posted weight limit.*

Stonelick Covered Bridge Closed Until 2012
- WGN 35-13-02

Clermont County, OH, June 10, 2010 - Said Clermont County Engineer Pat Manger: "It now appears that damage to the historic Stonelick Williams Corner Covered Bridge is so severe, that it cannot easily be repaired. The bridge will not be reopened to traffic until middle or late 2012.
      Residents living near the bridge reported floor damage to the bridge caused by a large truck. The bridge was closed immediately.
      The 140-foot Perintown or Stonelick bridge was built in 1878 to cross Stonelick Creek using a Howe Truss.*

Cabin Creek bridge restoration to resume
- WGN 17-68-03

Lewis County, KY, June 5 2010 - Restoration efforts will continue on the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge in Lewis County, it's just not certain when those efforts will resume, according to officials.       "The funding is in place, we're just waiting for allocation of the funds so we can advertise for bids," said Steve Donovan, chairman of the Covered Bridge Authority.       The 114-foot Cabin Creek Bridge, also known as the C.F. Ferguson Farm, or Mackey or Hughes Farm Bridge was built in 1873 to cross Cabin Creek in one span using a multiple kingpost truss.*


*Items marked were contributed by Tom Keating or David Guay - our thanks, Ed.

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For Sale Logo

Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges
by Joseph C. Nelson
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges features 102 color photographs of Vermont's covered bridges in fifteen chapters, each a guided tour. The tours are complete with maps, commentary on the uniqueness of each bridge, and historic highlights about the towns and villages in which the bridges are found.
An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing vital information on each bridge; A Covered Bridge Glossary, naming and describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the several trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of the people who designed and built the bridges; A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and history buffs who want to read more; A detailed Index.
Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges: 7" x 10", 288 pages. Published by New England Press at P.O. Box 575, Shelburne, VT 05482
Spanning Time is available directly from the author for $39.00, free shipping - http:// www.vermontbridges.com/special%20070514.htm Also see: http://www.vermontbridges.com/bookreviews.htm..

World Guide to Covered Bridges - 2009 Edition
Published by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges
On Sale: $15.00. Profits will go to the Vermont Covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $15.00 plus $2.77 Media Mail shipping to Joe Nelson, P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267. To place your ad in the Bridger, contact Joe Nelson, jcnelson@together.net. The ad must be about covered bridges and you must be a member of a covered bridge society.

 To place your ad in the Bridger, contact Joe Nelson, jcnelson@together.net. The ad must be about covered bridges and you must be a member of a covered bridge society.

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VCBS Annual Fall Meeting Site Directions to Kellog-Hubbard Library Meeting Room at 135 Main Street (Route 12), Montpelier, between Baird and School Streets.
Map of Montpelier

Northfield Falls covered bridges
Montpelier-Northfield Area Covered Bridges
Map from Spanning Time; Vermont's Covered Bridges, Joseph C. Nelson
Note: Baily Street has been renamed Slaughterhouse Road

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file created 09/18/2010