Oh covered bridges, one of the many symbols of New England that always give me joy when I see them! This beauty was constructed in 1872 to span the West River in Dummerston, Vermont and is the longest that is wholly within the State of Vermont. The bridge was designed by Caleb B. Lamson, a master carpenter and the bridge is the only known bridge built by Lamson that survives. Vermont is significant for covered bridges as about one hundred bridges still stand in the state, which is probably the greatest concentration by area of covered bridges in the nation. A reason we have to thank Vermont for this is purely population. With more people living in the state, transportation demands change, and these bridges are often replaced with modern steel structures. Keep doing you Vermont!
When I think of Vermont, I think of maple syrup, barns and covered bridges. The Moxley Covered Bridge in Chelsea, VT is the only covered wood bridge to survive in the town of Chelsea. It and five other covered bridges in the adjoining town of Tunbridge cross the First Branch of the White River within a distance of about seven miles, comprising one- of the most concentrated groups of covered bridges in Vermont. Historically, covered bridges were built in New England for the purpose to protect the wooden bridge from weathering. Uncovered wooden bridges typically have a lifespan of only 20 years because of the effects of rain and sun, but a covered bridge could last 100+ years. Many of New England’s wooden covered bridges have been preserved by municipalities and states to harken back to their rural roots.
Spanning the Charles River between Upper Falls Village in Newton and Needham, the Echo Bridge, is one of the most stunning structures around Boston. While not technically a building, I couldn’t help but share one of my favorite off-the-grid places to explore in the region.
The bridge served as crossing for water to be transported from the Sudbury River to the growing City of Boston. The entire aqueduct transported water over 18 miles from Farm Pond in Framingham and was stored in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston. Due to the topography of Hemlock Gorge in Newton, a large elevated bridge was required, creating one of the biggest engineering marvels around Boston. George W. Phelps, a contractor from Springfield, MA was selected as the builder of the bridge with a low bid. The 500′ bridge features a total of seven arches, with the largest spanning the Charles River being 137′, the second largest masonry arch span in the U.S. upon its completion.
Echo Bridge is constructed of large granite block and brick, which was held in place by wooden framework until the arches would be able to support their own weight at the top of the arches. Echo Bridge gets its name from the acoustical phenomenon when you stand at the base of the arch at the river and when speaking, the sound reverberates and echoes back and forth.