Skip to main content

Babb's Covered Bridge - Maine


 
The Babb's Covered Bridge is one of a handful of covered bridges remaining throughout the State of Maine. The Babb's Bridge was built in 1976 to connect the towns of Windham and Gorham over the Presumpscot River and replaced a covered bridge located at the same crossing along Hurricane Road. Built using a Queenpost truss design, the covered bridge is 79 feet long and was reconstructed using historically authentic techniques to replicate the old bridge as much as possible. Plus it is one of a kind, being the only covered bridge in Maine built with a Queenpost truss.

The original Babb's Covered Bridge was likely built in 1843, replacing former bridges taken out by a hurricane in 1767 and its replacement that had washed out during a flood in 1843. Other sources point out that the covered bridge was built in 1864 instead. But it is known that Babb's Bridge was named for a local family who lived in nearby Gorham, Maine. 

Tragedy struck on May 7, 1973, when the original Babb’s Bridge was lost to an act of arson. An inexpensive metal bridge took its place to cross the river until 1976 when the current bridge was constructed as a replica of the original bridge. This was accomplished in large part due to the efforts of the Windham and Gorham historical societies along with a volunteer effort that helped raise both awareness and thousands of dollars towards the rebuilding project, with the new bridge having been dedicated with much fanfare on July 4, 1976. It was a great way to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States.

By 2014, the bridge had fallen into disrepair, laden with graffiti, sideboards removed, and holes cut into the roof so people could use the bridge to jump into the Presumpscot River below. In 2015, the Babb's Covered Bridge had to be closed temporarily due to damage that was caused by a snowplow. As a result of the damages to the bridge along with concerns of nearby residents, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) called for a rehabilitation of the bridge at a cost of over $160,000, respecting the bridge's original design and function. While MaineDOT continues to maintain the bridge, a lack of manpower and funds makes them reluctant to respond to fixes that result from vandalism. A local group called Friends of Babb's Bridge was also created to provide increased security and awareness around the bridge

In a brazen, yet somehow fitting attempt to see the Babb's Covered Bridge in person, I visited on the same day that Tropical Storm Lee was aiming towards the nearby Gulf of Maine. It was quite windy, not quite at hurricane or even tropical storm force winds, but the covered bridge stood tall in the face of the gusty winds passing through southern Maine.




How to Get There:



Sources and Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Madera County Road 400 and the 1882-1886 Yosemite Stage Road

Madera County Road 400 is an approximately twenty-four-mile roadway following the course of the Fresno River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Road 400 begins at California State Route 145 near Madera and terminates to the north at Road 415 near Coarsegold.  Traditionally Road 400 was known as "River Road" prior to Madera County dropping naming conventions on county highways.  Road 400 was part of the original Yosemite Stage Route by the Washburn Brothers which began in 1882.  The Yosemite Stage Route would be realigned to the west in 1886 along what is now Road 600 to a rail terminus in Raymond.  Parts of Road 400 were realigned in 1974 to make way for the Hensley Lake Reservoir.  Part 1; the history of Madera County Road 400 Road 400 is historically tied to the Wawona Road and Hotel.  The Wawona Hotel is located near the Mariposa Grove in the modern southern extent of Yosemite National Park.   The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel but it does predate th