Also known as the Bog Covered Bridge, the Cilleyville Covered Bridge spans 53 feet over the Pleasant Brook in the Cilleyville area of Andover, New Hampshire. Built in 1887 using a Town lattice truss design that was popular with covered bridge construction in New Hampshire, the bridge was built by a local carpenter by the name of Prentice C. Atwood at the cost of $522.63. He was assisted with the bridge's construction by Al Emerson and Charles Wilson. Local legends suggest that during the construction, Emerson and Wilson became upset with Atwood and cut some of the bridge timbers short, causing the bridge to tilt. However, engineers have suggested that the tilt is caused by the very nature of the Town lattice truss design.
The Cilleyville Covered Bridge was the last covered bridge, and possibly the shortest covered bridge built in Andover. The bridge was bypassed in 1959 when a new alignment of NH 11 was built and the town decided to preserve the bridge, restricting it to foot traffic. Located in the Cilleyville section of Andover, it was originally known as Bog Covered Bridge. The name lends to the bridge's location, on what was then known as Bog Road, which went towards the nearby Bog Pond. There was also another Cilleyville Covered Bridge nearby, which spanned the Blackwater River. After that bridge was torn down in 1908, the original Bog Covered Bridge became known as the Cilleyville Covered Bridge.
As with most historic covered bridges, work has been done to repair the bridge from the wear and tear that takes place throughout the ages. The bridge's west abutment was rebuilt with cement mortar after the Hurricane of 1938 caused much flooding throughout New England. The bridge's roof was reshingled in 1962 at a cost of $600. On March 9, 1982 the roof caved in from excessive snow load. This led to the town of Andover repairing the roof in July 1982 at the cost of $3,400. Further restorations to the bridge took place in 2003 with assistance of the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program.
The bridge was the model for the Shattuck murals of typical New Hampshire scenes which were once located in the New Hampshire State House in Concord, New Hampshire. Only two covered bridges remain in Andover today, the Cilleyville Covered Bridge and the Keniston Covered Bridge. Today, you can visit the Cilleyville Covered Bridge for quiet, passive recreation. While you admire your surroundings and this historic covered bridge, there is a picnic table located inside of the bridge so you can enjoy a nice lunch or a snack. I visited the covered bridge as winter was starting to lose its grip to the spring and enjoyed the few minutes that I got to spend with the Cilleyville Covered Bridge.
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Sources and Links:
New Hampshire Bridges - Cilleyville Bridge
NHTourGuide.com - Cilleyville Covered Bridge Andover NH
Bridgehunter.com - Cilleyville Covered Bridge 29-07-01
The Adventures of Shadow and Wilma - July 22, 2020 – Cilleyville Covered Bridge/Bog Bridge – New Hampshire
United States Department of the Interior - National Register of Historic Places Registration Form