Skip to main content

Powerscourt Covered Bridge

The Powerscourt Covered Bridge, also known as the Percy Covered Bridge, is Canada's oldest covered bridge. Not only is it the oldest covered bridge in Canada, it is the only known example of a McCallum inflexible arched truss bridge still in existence. The covered bridge was built in 1861 over the Chateauguay River on First Concession Road near Hinchinbrooke, Quebec, just north of the border with New York State. The Powerscourt Covered Bridge is the only non-railroad bridge in the world using the McCallum inflexible arched truss design. This design was developed by Daniel McCallum, who was an engineer for the New York and Erie Railroad, and superintendent of railroads for the Union side in the Civil War. The techniques in building the two span Powerscourt Covered Bridge was otherwise used exclusively in the construction of railroad bridges. Because of the Powerscourt Covered Bridge's unique place in history, it was designated a National Historic Site in 1984 and the bridge was restored in 2009.

In this southwestern corner of Quebec between the border with New York and the St. Lawrence River, you will find an unique blend of French and English heritage. English Loyalists settled there after the Revolutionary War and some French Canadians decided to settle across the border in New York to farm. If you look at a map, you will find names like Huntingdon, Elgin, Hinchinbrooke and Hemmingford among the towns that dot this part of Quebec. As for nearby Powerscourt, it was once a much busier place, but today, there are just a few houses, a church building and a sturdy reminder of this region's past, present and future, the Powerscourt Covered Bridge.

The entrance into the Powerscourt (Percy) Covered Bridge. As a covered bridge fan, I made a long detour west down QC 202 to see this bridge, on a trip that eventually took me to Montreal.
Plaque commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Powerscourt Covered Bridge.
Inside the covered bridge.
Bridge plaques.
Note the curved roof on the covered bridge, another feature that is unique to this bridge.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Canada's Historic Places - Powerscourt Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada
North Country Public Radio - Powerscourt, home to Canada’s oldest covered bridge
Mother Nature Network - North America's Most Charming Covered Bridges
Montreal Gazette - Gallery: Powerscourt Bridge
Library of Congress - Powerscourt Bridge
Nature Notes - Powerscourt (Percy) Covered Bridge

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…