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The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Newsletter - Winter 2016

Events Historical Committee Report
President's Column Communications Committee
VCBS Seventeenth Annual Fall Meeting From The Archives
Bridge-Watch The Power of Water in Vermont History
Membership Committee VCBS Lending Library
In Memoriam For Sale
Events Logo

Annual Spring Meeting

The Annual Spring Meeting will be held in Jeffersonville at the Visions of Vermont Fine Arts Gallery on April 15, 2017. The meeting details will be provided in the Spring Bridger.

The society has been sponsoring two annual meetings each year, one in the spring, the other in the fall. Both gatherings include a business meeting. The meeting schedule was questioned at the last Spring Meeting.

The meeting attendees voted 7 to 4 to hold the business meeting in the spring with the meeting in the fall to be social only, that is, the meeting may be a covered bridge safari, or it may feature multiple speakers, a show and tell, covered bridge post card shows, covered bridge photo shows, a picnic, or a covered dish dinner.

The four wanted no change from the format in use. It was understood by those at the Spring Meeting that the board of directors has the final say and the subject will be discussed and voted on at the next annual board of directors meeting to be held this coming February.

Another option could be to remove the business meetings from both spring and fall meetings, and hold them quarterly by e-mail. This will also be presented the board of directors.

Readers of this article would have been invited to send their comments to the Events Committee, except that, as of this writing, the committee does not exist. Instead, send your views to Joe Nelson at, and he will share them with the Board of Directors.

The Events Committee, by the way, is designed to be staffed by Society members to plan our spring and fall meetings, our bridge excursions, our picnics, dinners and work parties, and is chaired by a member of the Board of Directors. Volunteers for a position in the committee, or to chair the committee, will be cordially accepted.

Visions of Vermont map
Location of Spring Meeting in Jeffersonville
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President's Logo

The disastrous fire which destroyed historic Salisbury Station Bridge is indeed a tragedy and great loss to the covered bridge community. The bridge was built in 1865, not long after the railroad was first opened, to provide access from Cornwall and other areas east of Cedar Swamp and Otter Creek to the railroad in Salisbury. We hope that the Selectmen of Salisbury and Cornwall will replicate the bridge in the near future.

Bill Carroll, President VCBS

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Vermont Covered Bridge Society
Seventeenth Annual Fall Meeting
Middlebury, Vermont

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Seventeenth Annual Fall meeting of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society was held in the Community Room of the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Vermont on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

Fourteen people were in attendance when Vice President Joe Nelson called the meeting to order at 10:15am.

Minutes of the Annual Spring meeting held in Jeffersonville May 21, 2016 were not read as they appear in The Bridger.

Treasurer's Report:

Neil Daniels reports the following for the period:

Union Bank Checking: 01.01.16 $  4,923.00
08.31.16 $  4,881.00
Change in account 08.31.16 $      -42.00
SAVE-A-BRIDGE FUND: 08.31.16 $  7,192.00
Committee Reports:

Membership reported by Joe Nelson

Joe read a message he had received from Johnny Esau's wife Joanne:

"Joe; I just saw your note and wanted to thank you so much for your kind thoughts and care that you have sent along to Johnny.

He is struggling with a terrible form of Leukemia (AML). I am amazed at his will power and his constant good cheer.

He has been at Dartmouth for 3 rounds of treatment...the first was 57 days, then 49 days, and this last one 45 between he barely has time to build up his strength.

But our hope is that he will get strong enough to go to Boston to MGH for a Stem Cell Transplant. I hope he is soon out scouting bridges with the gang.

In the meantime he told our Doctor that he now has something in common with David Ortiz - they both have a bridge named after them.

Thanks for your cards and kind words.
Joanne Esau, Johnny's wife"

Ruth Nelson passed around a Get Well card for Johnny which was signed by those in attendance.

New member! A warm welcome to Valerie Tipton of West Newbury, MA

Other news of Membership concern: Long-time member Jean Carrington of Syracuse, NY has passed.

Historical Committee: no report

Communications Committee: Joe Nelson

Steve Miyamoto and I have been considering upgrading the society website We'll begin work on this project when time allows.

Another project will be in conjunction with the Historical Committee: To promote historical signs for those Vermont bridges lacking them. We will be working with the Vermont State Historical Division.

Our newsletter, The Bridger, is key to the VCBS mission in advocating the preservation of our covered bridges. Our current editor, Bill Caswell, is turning out an excellent product, which has brought us many compliments. He tells me that he loves doing it; but since the passing of David Wright, Bill is now the President of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. We need to be ready to carry on in case Bill has to leave us. We are asking for a volunteer to be ready to train under Bill in that eventuality.

Bridge Watch: John Weaver reports:

Scott CB, Townshend: All major construction work will be finished this fall. The lattice portion was completed earlier. Some lesser items of work to be completed next spring.

Seguin CB, East Charlotte: Work is half done with completion expected to be this fall.

Longley CB, Montgomery: Work to be done has been advertised.

Green River CB, Guilford: Completed and open.

Archives: no report

Old Business:

No old business discussed.

New Business:

Dan Monger asks if there will be only one meeting per year as discussed at the spring 2016 meeting. The VCBS Board of Directors has not yet met to vote on that issue. Joe Nelson says he will help the Board set up to answer that question.

Next meeting date: April 15, 2017 at the Visions of Vermont Gallery in Jeffersonville hosted by Terry Shaw.

With no further discussion -- the motion to adjourn the meeting was made by John Weaver and seconded by Tom Carpenter. The meeting adjourned at 10:28am.

Income for the sale table this meeting was: $43.13.

Respectfully submitted,
Irene R. Barna, Secretary
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bridge watch logo

Miller's Run Bridge Struck by an Oversize Vehicle
WGN 45-03-06#2
Lyndonville, Vermont

The Miller's Run Bridge (WG #45-03-06#2) in Lyndonville was damaged by an oversize vehicle sometime during the weekend of October 22 & 23. The town road crew had recently repaired damage to the portals on both ends of the bridge from a previous vehicle impact. There are height and weight warning signs at both entrances of the structure, which connects Lyndon Center to Route 122.

Miller's Run Bridge
Caledonian Record
October 25, 2016
Photo by Anita Ford
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Scott Bridge
WGN 45-13-13
Townshend, Vermont

As noted in the meeting minutes on page 2, repairs to the Scott Bridge are nearly complete. This photo was provided by the Vermont Agency of Transportation on November 30, 2016.

Scott Bridge
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Salisbury Station Bridge
WGN 45-01-01
Salisbury & Cornwall, Vermont

The towns of Salisbury and Cornwall are removing the remains of the Salisbury Station Bridge which was lost in a devastating fire on September 10. The site is expected to be cleared by December 9th and a temporary bridge is to be in place by the end of the year. Wright Construction of Mt. Holly, Vermont, was awarded the demolition contract.

Salisbury Station Bridge remains
Addison County Independent, November 28, 2016
Cornwall Select Board Minutes of October 31, 2016
Photo by Scott Wagner
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Longley Bridge
WGN 45-06-08
Montgomery, Vermont

Bids to construct the new Longley Bridge in Montgomery have been opened. The project was awarded to Alpine Construction of Mt. Holley, VT. According to the Vermont Agency of Transportation website, their bid for the project was $1,035,89.80.

Longley Covered Bridge
Bill Caswell Photo
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Membership Logo

The days are getting colder. There has been snow in many areas, and flurries in others. The holidays are drawing nearer. It's a time for gathering family and sharing in something special. To me, one of those special things is driving around to look at people's homes decorated for the holidays, incorporating whenever possible a covered bridge into the drive. Of course, sometimes there are holiday lights on the covered bridge.

Do you have a covered bridge tradition? We invite you to share your stories, suggestions, and ideas on our Facebook page (be sure to include a photo if you have one). Perhaps your longstanding tradition will become someone's new tradition. What's more, perhaps it will inspire someone to join VCBS.

We are always looking to grow our membership. It's very heartwarming to be part of a group that is helping to preserve an important (and beautiful!) part of our history. Recruiting new members and keeping existing members as actively involved as possible are two crucial things to the longevity and effectiveness of VCBS, so please spread the word.

Thank you to the many VCBS members faithfully contributing each year to this important cause. And a special thank you to those who are actively involved in whatever capacity they are able to be. All of us banding together truly make a difference. And now I'd like to extend a hearty welcome to our newest member, Valery Tipton of West Newbury, Massachusetts. Welcome, Valery!

If you're already a member, don't miss our 2017 Early Renewal Contest. This contest has been a huge success in the past. Paying your membership fees before the December 31 deadline not only qualifies you for a chance to win a nice gift but also gives the society the funds it needs going into the new year. Simply complete the membership form in this issue of the newsletter and return it with your check made payable to VCBS no later than December 31 to:

P.O. Box 267,
Jericho, VT 05465-0267
The winners will be announced in the spring newsletter.

If you are a member and are behind on your dues, we certainly understand but we'll need you to make that dues payment if at all possible. A red code on your newsletter address label signifies that your dues are overdue. Please remit payment following the steps above for one year's dues, and we'll consider you a member in good standing for 2017.

If you are a lifetime member, we are incredibly grateful to have your ongoing commitment. In an effort to keep our membership list as accurate as possible, please take a moment to email me at to let me know you are still interested in being a member, and to let me know if you have a new address or email address. All who contact me will be entered into a contest to win a special gift.

If you are not yet a member, please consider joining us by visiting

Lastly, we are looking for more volunteers to join our committees. These committees include: Bridge-Watch, Communications, Historical, Events, Legislation Watch, Membership, and Publicity. More details can be found on our website or by contacting Joe Nelson at

If you'd like to help with membership activities, or if you have any questions for me, I can be reached at

Happy Holidays!
Wendy Payson

Happy Birthday and Anniversary to:

1 Terry and Jane Shaw
6 Priscilla O'Reilly
8 Mark Dawson
20 Ben and June Evans Lyn Whiston
22 Richard Davis
23 Ed Barna
24 Tina Conn Dave and Marikka Guay
25 Ann Ovitt
26 Virginia Brackett
27 Steve and Susan Miyamoto Dan Brock
28 Anthony and Pat Daniels
30 Gloria Davis
31 Jan Bramhall Ben Evans
4 Marclay and Thomas Davis
12 Jim Patch
15 Dan Castellini
29 Bill Jeffrey
2 Bill Caswell
7 Richard (Rick) Cyphers
12 Joe and Ruth Nelson Robert Cassidy
14 Richard Howrigan
21 George Longenecker
24 John Weaver
26 David Guay

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[Editor's Note]

As the Bridger was going to press, we learned of the passing of Ray Hitchcock, the previous editor of this publication. We of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society who knew Ray, knew him as an enthusiastic supporter dedicated to the preservation of covered bridges. He even designed and built his own covered bridge. As Bridge-watch chairman of the southern counties of Vermont, he made friends for the Society wherever he went. Ray continued in his work for the Society long into the illness which finally took him. An exceptional man, he will be sorely missed. His obituary from the Rutland Herald follows.

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In Memoriam Logo

Ray Hitchcock

Raymond Butterfield "RB" Hitchcock, 74, of Cambridgeport died Nov. 20, 2016, at home. He was born Jan. 12, 1942, in Springfield, the son of Lucy and Raymond Hitchcock.

An Eagle Scout, he graduated in 1960 from Springfield High School, attended the University of Vermont, and earned a bachelor's degree in forestry at the University of Maine in 1964.

Mr. Hitchcock was employed in Minnesota for 35 years, including as district forester, area forester, fire chief, state forester, assistant commissioner of operations and retired as interim commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and served as president of the National Association of State Foresters.

In Vermont, he served on a local credit union board, wrote minutes for Trinity Lutheran Church and Pinnacle Hills Athens Dome committee, worked to provide access to forests and connect trails as part of the Windmill Pinnacle Hill Association, and published the quarterly newsletter for the Vermont Covered Bridge Society. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a private pilot.

Survivors include his wife, Adrienne (Christakos), whom he married Jan. 23, 1965, in Orono, Maine; a daughter, Stacy, and a son, Thomas; a sister, Sharon; five grandchildren; an aunt and uncle.

The memorial service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at Westminster West Congregational Church, 44 Church St., Westminster, VT 05346. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association, P.O. Box 584, Saxtons River, VT 05154,; The ALS Association Northern New England Chapter, 10 Ferry St., Suite 438, Concord, NH 03301,; A Living Tribute, 30 Old Kings Highway South 1st Floor, Darien, CT 05820

[From the November 30 Rutland Herald]
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Jean Darrow

Jean F. Darrow Carrington, 90, of Baldwinsville, New York, passed away peacefully after a brief illness. She has been a faithful member of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society since May of 2006.

She spent most of her life in Syracuse, graduating from Central High. She was employed as a secretary at Church & Dwight; a District Secretary at Sun Oil Co. and retired from Nestles in Fulton as secretary of the Industrial Engineering Department.

She is a 4th generation of Erie Canalers and sponsored three Canal Murals in Weedsport, Jordan and Camillus, and the boathouse in Erie Canal Park bears her family name of Ray.

In lieu of flowers, donations were asked to be sent to Sims Store at the Erie Canal Museum in Camillus or Hospice of CNY. The date of death was May 22, 2016.

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Historical Committee Logo

The following email was received in late September. The pictures were received in late November after Ms Pawliw had assembled and packed them for mailing. In addition to the photographs there is a copy of Milton Gratton's book The Last Covered Bridge Builder as well as covered bridge related artifacts.

From: Janise E Pawliw
Subject: Bridges
Date: Thursday, 29/09/2016 10:41 AM

Dear Bill

I am not sure if you are the correct person to contact, but I will start here. I am Janise Pawliw sister of one of your members, Jean Carrington of Syracuse, NY.

I would like to inform you that Jean passed in May. She was an avid lover of the covered bridges and spent many days and hours and years trying to see as many as she could find. I think she found 125 at least. In doing so, she took some fabulous pictures of all that she did locate over the years. I was wondering if you or anyone in your organization would be interested in these pictures for historical or pleasurable reasons? I know she would be happy that they went to a good home or good use.

Thanking you in advance. (She had a covered bridge engraved on her headstone)


At first glance the pictures appear to be mostly 4 x 6 inch color prints, taken between 1970's to 2000's, and are of most (if not all) of the covered bridges in Vermont, plus a few from other states. This collection, the Jean Carrington Collection, will be archivally processed in coming weeks and placed in a climate controlled repository. Copies will be made for our bridge files. The book will be deposited in the VCBS Library for the use of our membership. A sincere thank you for this gift.

Other additions to our archives include photocopies of old newspaper (50 or more years) articles relating to Vermont bridges, sent by Joe Nelson, and current covered bridge articles sent by Irene Barna. We also have an unhappy collection of 8 x 10 inch color prints of the fire at Salisbury Station Bridge, printed off of various internet sites.

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National Register Update

The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges reported in the Winter 2017 Topics that all of Vermont's recent replica covered bridges will be removed from the National Register of Historic Places. The bridges in question were never officially on the Register, though popularly believed to be. Rather, the listings were for the former historic bridges on the sites, and were never updated when those bridges were removed. This statement was offered by Devin Colman, State Architectural Historian.

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Communications Logo

by Joe Nelson, Chair

If you haven't taken a look lately at our Society website,, you will find a decided improvement in our outreach to the viewing public. You know, the public that needs to know that there is a Vermont Covered Bridge Society, and that we are alive and well. Through the initiative of Wendy Payson, our Membership Chair, and Steve Miyamoto, our website guru, we have been featuring both Facebook and Twitter. Covered bridge news and the activities of your society can be viewed on those pages, and hopefully, we're attracting friends and followers.

Our website was set up in 1997, long before Facebook and Twitter were popular, and a lot has developed since HTML 4 has been in use. Steve Miyamoto is working on a new version of our website, It will be a modernized, prettier, version of what we have.

While we are planning what features will be retained on the new site, we are asking for suggestions from you, the membership, for new ideas. Send your suggestions to me, at

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From The Archives Logo

Lamoille County Covered Bridges
(Continued from previous issue)

We have prints and articles on all the extant covered bridges in Lamoille County, as well as some prints of romantic shelters, and two prints of unidentified covered bridges in Cambridge and Jeffersonville. Information available about the standing bridges is as follows:

45-08-01 Scott, or Grist Mill,
or Canyon, or Bryan Bridge

Located to the east of Vt. 108 about one-half mile south of Jeffersonville in the Town of Cambridge. This bridge crosses the Brewster River with a single 85 foot span with a multiple kingpost truss with Burr arches. The arches, however, end at the lower chords, not the abutments. The bridge was built in 1872, repaired several times as needed, and rebuilt in 2004. The bridge today differs very little from the original 1872 bridge.

This bridge has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. In the VCBS Archives we have color copies of photo prints taken in the 1990s and 2000s, a copy of a Polaroid color print and notes taken in 1972, and two monochrome prints of the bridge in winter, undated, probably from a calendar.

45-08-02 Poland or Cambridge Junction Bridge

Located north of Vt. 15 at Cambridge Junction on a crossroad connecting Vt 15 and Vt 109. This bridge crosses the Lamoille River in a single 153 foot span, built in 1887 by George Washington Holmes. Like Scott Bridge (above) it is a multiple kingpost truss with (Burr) arches. This type of bridge is commonly, but not strictly accurately called a Burr Truss.

The bridge was built at the instigation of Luke P. Poland, a Waterville lawyer, who sought a shorter and more direct route from Waterville to the railroad depot at Cambridge Junction. The bridge was closed in 1995 after a truck caused structural damage to the trusses. Early in 2001 the bridge was endangered by high water in the Lamoille River and the entire structure was raised three feet. The bridge was completely rehabilitated in 2003-2004. This bridge has also been on the National Register since 1974.

In the VCBS Archives we have color copies and prints taken between 1980 and 2010, a copy of a color Polaroid print and notes taken in 1975. There is also a newspaper clipping, November 26, 1999 (Burlington Free Press) relating to the proposed rehabilitation of the bridge; a photographic print of the bridge after being raised, April 26, 2001 (Morrisville News & Citizen); and a newspaper photographic print of an 1887 photograph showing the bridge under construction, dated 1946)

45-08-04 Gates Farm Bridge or Little Bridge

Originally located on Vt 15 between Cambridge and Big Bridge, this bridge was built in 1897 by George Washington Holmes to carry the highway over the Seymour River. The bridge was 82 feet long and was a multiple kingpost with Burr arch, similar to the two bridges above.

About 1950 Vt 15 was rebuilt on a new alignment, the Seymour River was rechanneled to the east, and the bridge was moved to private farmland to provide farm access across the rechanneled Seymour River. (In 1951 Big Bridge, a double-barreled bridge (45-08-49x) was removed and placed at the entrance to Shelburne Museum, now 45-04-06) Little Bridge, or Gates Farm Bridge as it was now known as, deteriorated over the years (in part due to its location on the Lamoille River floodplain) and was dismantled and completely rebuilt in 1995 with the trusses raised above flood level.

The bridge is located on a farm road just east of Vt 15 on the southern side of the Lamoille River, near "Wrong Way Bridge" in Cambridge. In the VCBS Archives we have copies of color prints of the bridge taken in 2010, copy of a color Polaroid print with notes taken in 1987, and a snapshot of the bridge at its original location (with photocopy of both Big and Little Bridges)

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Town hits the roof over bridge repairs
by Richard Doran

CHARLOTTE, August 13, 1993 - By the end of today more pieces of Charlotte's historic Holmes Covered Bridge might be lying in the middle of Lake Road.

Friday, a truck went through the bridge from the north and tore beams from the framework that holds up the roof.

"When I went through Friday around six in the evening the lumber was scattered around the road for about 20 feet down," Selectman Maurice Harvey said this week.

The bridge has suffered similar problem for several decades.

Tom North, who owns the property on which the south end sits, says he's noticed the problems over the years.

"It's been happening for as long as I've lived here, and that's 27 years" North says. "I suspect it didn't begin with me."

The 100-year-old bridge underwent a significant rehabilitation this year and was opened to traffic May 20.

Many of the problems can be traced to the traffic signs that alert cars and trucks to the restrictions on bridge traffic. Signs warn of an 11 foot height limit. North says 11-foot-high trucks cannot fit under the bridge in the best of circumstances.

Road Commissioner Jeff Hutchins agreed. "They know they're...(hitting the bridge)," Hutchins said. "They're hitting it hard..."

"We spent a lot of everybody's money to restore it to its natural country condition" North said. "If we don't make some changes, all the wood that was recently replaced will go for nothing."

The Board of Selectmen agreed to change the maximum height restriction and plans to ban trucks from using the bridge. The board is considering putting a heavy I-beam across at the maximum height, and some people have suggested placing a 24 hour watch on the structure.

The I-beam proposal brought a question of aesthetics into play, especially because the bridge was recently renovated.

"It's got to be a permanent solution" said chairwoman Wendy Schroeder. "We don't have the capacity for 24-hour observation."

North said that might affect the historic nature of the bridge and the view of Lake Champlain from his property.

The integrity of the bridge is foremost in people's minds, however.

"There's always going to be some d*** fool that's going to come through and break the posts,” said board member Francis Thornton. "I think you want to stop him."

[Burlington Free Press, Friday August 13, 1993, shared with us by Rae Laitres.]
Lake Shore Bridge
Holmes or Lake Shore Bridge, Charlotte
Lake Champlain in the background
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The Power of Water in Vermont History
By Joe Nelson

The Vermont Historical Society Expo held this past June at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds featured the theme: H2O: the Power of Water in Vermont history. Expounding on water should be an easy topic for the Vermont Covered Bridge Society - after all, our bridges cross water, so water is our thing.

Our design team decided to combine the two themes, our bridges, and the power of water, for our presentation. The team has chosen to examine the water driven industrial history of some of those Vermont towns in which wooden bridges still stand.

In the beginning, New Hampshire and New York State, with land grants, opened the territory that was to become Vermont. The granting began in earnest in the 1760s, after the close of the French and Indian War.

Settlers moved in to open up virgin forests for agriculture, creating a need for industry to support them - grist mills, lumber mills, fulling & carding mills, woolen mills, etc., all driven by water power in a land rich in rivers and streams.

Villages grew up around the mills, attracting residents to work the mills, and retailers to serve the residents and the surrounding farms. Roads and bridges became the Town's first layer of infrastructure.

Today there are 251 towns, and surviving, approximately 100 covered bridges. In earlier times, Vermont had an estimated wooden bridge count in excess of 500. For our presentation, the authors chose to examine the water driven industrial history of some of those towns in which wooden bridges still stand.

Of course, the bridges still standing are successors to the original short-lived open bridges - the covering of bridges didn't begin in the U.S. until after Timothy Palmer covered the Permanent Bridge crossing the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia in 1806.

Guilford was chartered on April 2, 1754, by Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire. Settlers came into the town by way of Broad brook. The first settlers had either to boil or pound their corn, or go 15 miles to a mill with their crop upon their backs.

The waterpower in Guilford brought 1 papermill, 1 tannery, 2 grist-mills, 6 saw-mills, one clothier's works and carding machine, and a large cotton factory.

The Green River Bridge, built in 1870 to replace a succession of open bridges, still crosses the Green River there. The bridge stands next to a milldam that's on the National Register of Historic Places.

Danville was chartered in 1786 by the Vermont Legislature. Around 1850, Benjamin Greenbanks bought the woolen mill, lending his name to the hamlet; Greenbanks Hollow.

Joes' Brook powered the mills and factories in Danville, West Danville, Harvey's Hollow, South Danville and Morse's Mills. The brook provided power for 39 enterprises from its source to its junction with the Passumpsic River.

Greenbanks Hollow Complex
Greenbanks Hollow Complex

A photo of the gristmill shows two dams, the upper dam that provided water for the woolen mill and the lower dam below the bridge that supplied water for the gristmill. The Greenbanks Hollow Bridge, built in 1886 stands above it all.

The Town of Montgomery was granted a charter by the Vermont General Assembly on March 15, 1780. In 1845, Joseph Hutchins and Asa Wheeler established a factory on the South Branch of the Trout River to make butter tubs, sap buckets, and cheese boxes using waterpower driven lathes. By 1882 it became the largest mill in the county producing 175,000 butter tubs per year, and cutting 12,000 feet of lumber per day.

The Hutchins Bridge, built in 1883, still spans the river at the mill site, the mill long gone leaving behind only foundation stones.

Hutchins Mill Complex
Hutchins Mill Complex

The Town of Tunbridge was created on September 3, 1761, by Governor Benning Wentworth. Seven dams supported Smith's foundry, the Smith family gristmill, the North Tunbridge sawmill & rake factory, the South Tunbridge sawmill, and the Tunbridge Center's sawmill, grist mill, Blacksmith shop, and woolen mill.

The Mill Bridge stands in Tunbridge's historical industrial site, replicated in 2000 after it was destroyed by an ice jam. The first bridge on this site was built in 1797, replaced in 1815, again in 1883, and finally, in 2000.

Our presentation covers nineteen towns with photos and data sources. It's available in either PowerPoint, or PDF format. If you would like a copy, contact Joe Nelson at

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Book Logo

VCBS Lending Library:
A Learning/Research Source

It's December already, and it's time to go out to get those wonderful snowy covered bridge photos you meant to take last year but didn't. Or maybe it's time to plan your covered bridge tour come vacation time. Do we have the book for you! New England's Covered Bridges, by Ben and June Evans.

Ben and June have visited all five New England States with covered bridges and filled their book with color photos and the GPS locations of each bridge. For those without smart phones, they've also provided the usual road directions. The book also has a fantastic bibliography citing all of the Evans' sources.

You may borrow this fantastic find from The Vermont Covered Bridge Society lending library available to all society members-in-good standing through media mail.

If you'd rather just stay warm and cozy at home this winter, ask for our copy of The Covered Bridge, by Herbert Wheaton Congdon. First printed in 1941 (third edition 1959), it offers precious photos of our bridges as they appeared in the '50s, and photos and stories of our bridges long gone. Then there is Ed Barna's Covered Bridges of Vermont featuring photos and well-researched stories of each bridge.

Librarian Warren Tripp has created a detailed book list complete with a description and critique of each book. Copies of the index are available by mail, or you may contact Joe Nelson for a PDF copy at, or you may go to the website and click the Vermont Covered Bridge Society button, then select About the VCBS, then The VCBS Lending Library. Or, click here:

A borrower can 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 order 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.

And, if you have some books you'd like to share, the library will be pleased to accept them.

Contact Warren Tripp, P. O. Box 185, South Barre, VT 05670,

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Spanning Time - Vermont's Covered Bridges

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 stand.

An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing information on each; A Covered Bridge Glossary, describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of people who designed and built the bridges; A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and history buffs; 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. (Vermont residents add 6% sales tax)

Go to Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges Special Book Offer
Also see:

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New York State's Covered Bridges

New York State's Covered Bridges - When one typically thinks of covered bridges, New York is not the first state to come to mind, but New York once had over 300 covered bridges. Floods, fires and progress have claimed all but 32. Readers will enjoy seeing NY's current bridges, including the oldest existing covered bridge in the U.S., the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge, located in Glimmerglass State Park, and the world's longest singlespan covered bridge in the world, the Blenheim Covered Bridge, washed away by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. This book also highlights the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center in Oxford, NY, the first ever center of its kind specifically designed for covered bridge researchers.

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Connecticut and Rhode Island Covered Bridge book

Connecticut and Rhode Island Covered Bridges - Price Reduced
During their heyday in the mid to late 1800's, more than 150 covered bridges dotted the landscape of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since that time, floods, fires, and progress have claimed all but two of the historic structures. With over 200 images, this book provides insight into the covered bridge history of an area that has not been well documented in the past.

To order your signed copy, send $20.00 to:

Bill Caswell
535 Second NH Turnpike
Hillsboro, NH 03244.
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Covered Bridges of New England DVD

Covered Bridges of New England - DVD
Produced by Ocean State Video of Rhode Island for Public Television.
On Sale: $20.00. Profits will go to the Vermont covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $20.00 plus $2.50 shipping to Joe Nelson, P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267.

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267 This file posted 12/10/2017

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