The Eastern Townships of Quebec have plenty in common with its southern neighbors in Vermont and New Hampshire. Many of its original settlers came from New England in search of a good home and suitable farmland. With that, they also brought along some classic features that are found all over northern New England, such as round barns and covered bridges. So it is no surprise that there used to be over 200 covered bridges around Quebec's Eastern Townships. While there's only 21 covered bridges in the Eastern Townships today, many of the remaining bridges are easy to visit as part of a trip around the region. The Milby Covered Bridge near Waterville, Quebec is one such covered bridge in the area.
Built in 1873, the Milby Covered Bridge spans over the Moe's River in what was the community of Milby, now part of Waterville. The bridge was built by Robert and John Hood, who won a contract to construct the bridge for $1,350 in total. The Milby Covered Bridge spans 80 feet and 16 feet wide over the Moe's River and is of a Town truss style, one of a few of its design remaining in the province of Quebec. The Milby Covered Bridge replaced an earlier bridge that was built in 1850 around a sawmill owned by a Dr. William Wilson. In fact, the settlement of Milby was once known as Wilson Mills because of the sawmill. However, the original bridge was washed away in spring flooding in 1869, leading to the construction of the modern day Milby Covered Bridge.
On December 7, 1992, the Milby Covered Bridge was considered a heritage monument by the government of Quebec. This has to do not only because it is a historic covered bridge, but also that the design elements are unique. Cedar shingles are used for the roof of the covered bridge. The bridge also has several unusual features, such as the used of struts made of curved roots cut in one piece, which testifies to the ingenious use of this part of the tree stump. The bridge was closed to traffic in 2003 due to concerns over heavy vehicles. The bridge was restored in 2007 which replaced and modernized some elements of the bridge, such as replacing wooden pegs with steel bolts and updating the siding.
The Milby Covered Bridge can be easily visited today, located right off of Quebec Route 147. There is a small parking lot located at the west end of the bridge and a small footpath that will lead you to the river's edge for some nice photos.
|Inside the covered bridge. The curved struts are unique to what I've seen with covered bridges.|
|Side profile of the Milby Covered Bridge|
|A view of the western portal of the covered bridge. The bridge is one lane, but has a sidewalk for people wanting to walk across the bridge.|
|Headache bars are featured near both portals of the bridge.|
|A historical plaque is located near the bridge in order to give a brief summary of the Milby Covered Bridge's history.|
How to Get There:
Sources and Links:
Sherbrooke Record - Over a covered bridge, into the past (August 13, 2019)
Eastern Townships - Discovering the Covered Bridges of the Eastern Townships
Sherbrooke Record - Covered bridges and drones—an unlikely duo (September 27, 2020)
Chemin des Cantons (Township Trail) - Round barns and covered bridges route
DaleJTravis.com - Quebec Covered Bridges
Quebec Culture & Communications - Milby Covered Bridge