Skip to main content

Russell Hill Bridge (Livermore Bridge) - Wilton, New Hampshire

 


The Russell Hill Bridge (also known as the Livermore Bridge) in Wilton, New Hampshire is almost certainly one of its kind. This bridge is the only known example of a timber, half through, pony lattice truss in New Hampshire and possibly in all of North America. Visible as you pass by on NH 101 west of Wilton, the wooden boxed pony truss bridge of a Town lattice design spans over Blood Brook on an old alignment of Russell Hill Road.

It could be say that the wooden box design of this pony truss bridge was to weatherize the bridge. Plus, with the large number of covered bridges in New Hampshire, it was natural to use wood and timber in bridge construction. However, since the bridge is still open, it was still subject to the elements of nature, which may be the reason why there are not many examples left, and why the Russell Hill Bridge is a lone surviving example of this bridge design.

Built in 1937, the 52 foot long Russell Hill Bridge is not the first bridge to be located at this spot. There is evidence which suggests that there was a bridge at this location as far back as the middle of the 18th Century. However, by the middle of the 19th Century, that bridge was washed out and was replaced with a boxed pony truss style wooden bridge, similar in structure and scope to a covered bridge. The bridge's location was near a sawmill and dam just upstream on Blood Brook, with the original builder of the sawmill being Reverend Jonathan Livermore, which is where the bridge's alternative namesake comes from. This was also the site of a crossroads from the days of yore between Wilton Center to the east, New Ipswich to the south and Greenville to the southwest.

By 1937, it was time to rebuild the bridge. Fred Tuttle and Nehe Pajanen were paid $3278.11 and $224.05 for labor and materials to construct a new bridge over Blood Brook. Fred Tuttle was an experienced carpenter with a portfolio of having built many homes in New Hampshire, but the extent of his bridge building experience is unknown. Construction for the Russell Hill Bridge used new materials, but followed the design of the the bridge built in the 19th Century. At the time, there were other examples of wooden boxed pony truss bridges to follow, as the Boston and Maine Railroad used this design for a few of their bridges in New Hampshire. But, further research may show that this bridge is a rare survivor of a once common type or a rare survivor of a rare variant of a common type of bridge.

While the Russell Hill Bridge has been bypassed in favor of a modern bridge downstream and to the east, the bridge remains as a testament to New Hampshire's bridge construction history. The Russell Hill Bridge can be visited today, whether you park alongside NH 101 (but be careful) or follow the old alignment of Russell Hill Road to its end. Or you can virtually visit with the photos shown below.


Side profile of the bridge.

Some remaining overlaying pavement remains on the bridge.

Blood Brook.

The bridge no longer carries vehicular traffic.

Winter time view of the bridge.

Bridge plaque from the Wilton Heritage Commission explaining the history of the Russell Hill Bridge.


How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
The Bridgewright Blog - Numbers as Great as They Now are Few
Historic Structures - Livermore Truss Bridge, Wilton New Hampshire
Bridgehunter.com - Russell Hill Road Bridge 29-06-P1
Library of Congress - Livermore Bridge, Spanning Blood Brook at Russell Hill Road, Wilton, Hillsborough County, NH

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

Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) (Baltimore, MD)

The Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) was a steel continuous truss bridge that spanned the Patapsco River in Baltimore, MD. Situated at the entrance to Baltimore’s Outer Harbor, the bridge carried Interstate 695 (part of the Baltimore Beltway) and was a visible symbol of the city and the state of Maryland. This bridge no longer exists due to its collapse as the result of a collision with a large container ship on March 26, 2024. The following piece will discuss the history and life of the Key Bridge, the important details surrounding the incident that caused its collapse, and the in-progress recovery efforts at the site. This piece will also discuss the economic impacts to the city and region as a result of the collapse and will look ahead at what to expect from a potential replacement crossing in the future. Part 1 - History of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) Planning for what was originally known as the “Baltimore Outer Harbor Crossing” began in the 1950s at the dawn of