Skip to main content

Slate Covered Bridge - New Hampshire

 


The Slate Covered Bridge is a 143 foot long covered lattice through truss covered bridge that spans over the Ashuelot River in Swanzey, New Hampshire. One of six covered bridges found in Swanzey, this bridge is the second covered bridge to stand at this location on Westport Village Road (which was a former alignment of NH 10). Like the previous bridge at this location, this one continues to be called Slate Covered Bridge after the Slate family that had owned a farm to the north of the bridge.

The original bridge was erected in 1862 at a cost of $1,850.64 with a Town truss and was a couple feet longer than the current covered bridge. It was built to replace the previous bridge that crossed the river at this location, which had collapsed in 1842 as William Wheelock and his oxen were crossing it. Despite the collapse sending them all into the river, it was a blessing that neither Wheelock nor his oxen were hurt. Even still, Wheelock engaged an attorney from Keene to seek damages from the Town of Swanzey as a result of being on the bridge while it collapsed into the Ashuelot River.

Due to the effects of time, the bridge began to show wear and tear over the years. In the early 1990s, talk of fundraising to help with the rehabilitation of the bridge began. In 1987, the bridge was damaged by a snow plow and was repaired at a cost of $2,000. However, before the bridge could be rehabilitated any further, it was destroyed on March 8, 1993, when it was set on fire. There was a suspect who was tried for the arson, but the case against him was weak from the start. The case weakened further in late 1993 when the state failed to discover gasoline or any other accelerant that was being used to burn the bridge down. The case went to trial in December 1993 and the suspect found not guilty of the act of arson. Nobody else was ever charged and the arson remains unsolved.

Undeterred, the Town of Swanzey decided to have a new covered bridge erected in its place, and opted to keep the same name for the new bridge. Hoyle Tanner of Manchester, New Hampshire was selected for the design of the new wooden Slate Covered Bridge under the New Hampshire Department of Transportation Municipally Managed Bridge program. They provided engineering design services for the new bridge including Town Lattice trusses, floor beams and floor decking, roof rafters and purlins, and cross bracing, along with fire detection and protection systems. They also provided inspection and evaluation of existing stone abutments for reuse. Wright Construction Company of Mount Holly, Vermont assisted in the construction of the new covered bridge as well. The new Slate Covered Bridge opened in 2001 with a l5 ton live load, which was five times that of the original covered bridge.






How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Town of Swanzey - Covered Bridge Information
New Hampshire Covered Bridge - Slate Bridge
Hoyle Tanner - Slate Covered Bridge
NH Tour Guide.com - Slate Covered Bridge Swanzey NH
Bridgehunter.com - Slate Covered Bridge 29-03-06
Ontfin.com - Slate Covered Bridge, New Hampshire
The Pennsylvania Rambler - Slate Covered Bridge
Miles to Go - Snapshots: Covered Bridges of S.W. New Hampshire

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del