Woodstock's Local Covered Bridges
Woodstock Vermont's 3 Covered Bridges
Woodstock Vermont's Taftsville Covered Bridge Woodstock Vermont's Union Covered Bridge Woodstock Vermont's Lincoln Corners Covered Bridge
Taftsville Covered Bridge
(Damaged by Irene)
Woodstock's Union Covered Bridge Lincoln Corners Covered Bridge
     

Covered Bridges

More than 10,000 covered bridges were built across the United States between 1805 (when the first was erected in Philadelphia) and the early 20th century.

Possibly the most frequently asked question by our guests when it comes to Covered Bridges is why were they covered? As far as I have been able to tell there are two major schools of thought on the subject. (1.) An engineer or architect will tell you that the covers were placed over the bridge to protect it from the elements and lengthen the life span of the structure, and (2.) A romantic will tell you it was to provide shelter for both traveler and their horses from the harsh NE weather.

One other popular explanation is that the covers were there to hide the view from the horses so they would not be frightened while crossing

It would appear that the first is the most plausible, for while an unprotected wooden bridge may last decades, a protected bridge will last, as is evident in Vermont, centuries!

While I am the type that likes to give our guests a concise and accurate answer, in this instance, I'll just let you decide for yourselves!!


A little Explanation About Covered Bridge Construction

There are three main types of Covered Bridges. Their definition deals with the way the bridges are actually constructed. The three types are;

1.) A Town Lattice Structure:

This structure is a truss made of diagonal crossing wooden planks. The use of the smaller members eliminates large expensive timbers and requires a lesser degree of craftsman in it's construction.

2.)A Tied Arch Structure:

The tied arch is a construction where the outward horizontal forces of the arch are kept in balance by a horizontal tie. As the horizontal forces are not directed into the abutments it allows for the construction of less robust foundations.

3.)A Timbered Trusses Structure:

There are many variations of trusses for covered bridges including the Kingspost, Queenpost, and Pratt Trusses. Timber Trussed Structures require large wooden timbers and highly skilled craftsmen.

Historic vs Non-Historic Covered Bridges

It should also be noted that not all Covered Bridges are equal. Some Covered Bridges are designated Historic (meaning that they are actually built with wooden trusses, but others are not, and have had covers added to them purely for esthetic reasons. The state has a comprehensive preservation programs in place for its Historic Bridges and has earmarked a great deal of money for their repair and upkeep over the years. These programs continue today to make sure that these iconic Vermont images will live on well into the future.

Our Local Covered Bridge's

Woodstock has three Historic Covered Bridges right in Town, and there are a number of other Covered Bridges, Historic and otherwise within a short drive from the Village. Here's a list of the closest ones;

Woodstock's own Covered Bridges
Woodstock's
Middle Bridge


Located right in town, and spans 125 feet. It was not damaged by Irene. But it was re-built in 1972 after the original was destroyed by fire. It is however a newer authentic covered bridge. It is located directly accross from the village green.

It is of a very uncommon layout, having a sidewalk as part of the original design.

It is also a rare example of where a wooden bridge was built (in 1969) to replace a steel one.

 

Woodstock Vermont's Union Covered Bridge
In The Village - Located directly accross from the Villge Green, a 10 minute walk from our front door.
Woodstock's
Lincoln Bridge

 

Located on Route 4, west of the village, at Lincoln Corners. It Spans 136 feel. It is a Pratt Truss Arch design.

It is exceptional as it is believed to be the only bridge in the United States that uses the patented Pratt truss made in wood, unique in it's form because Pratt trusses are most efficient when made of steel.

 

Woodstock Vermont's Lincoln Corners Covered Bridge
In West Woodstock - Located on Route four in West Woodstock, at Lincoln Corners. Just a short ride from the Canterbury House Bed and Breakfast.
Woodstock's
Taftsville Bridge

 

Located just east of the village in Taftsville. It's two spans total 190 feet. It is constructed of multiple Kingpost truss and arches.

It is the thuird oldest covered bridge in Vermont. The foundations of the bridge sustained substantial damage due to tropical storm Irene in September of 2011 and was reconstructed in the summer of 2013.

 

Woodstock Vermont's Taftsville Covered Bridge
In Taftsville - Located just east of the Village of Woodstock in the Hamlet of Taftsville. Just a short ride from the Canterbury House Bed and Breakfast.
Martins Mill Bridge

Located in Hartland, it was built in 1881 and spans 135 feet. It's structure is of Town Lattice design.

Martins Mill Covered Bridge
Located 13 miles from Woodstock and is on Martinsville Road right off of US Route 5.
Willard Bridge

 

Located in Hartland, it was build in 1870 and spans 125 feet. It's structure is of Town Lattice desigtn.

In 2001, a newer duplicate (twin) bridge was authentically built just a few hundred feet down Mill Street.

 

Willard covered bridge and it's twin
Located 17 miles from Woodstock on Mill Street off of US Route 5.
Bests Bridge

 

Located in West Windsor, it was built in 1890 and spans 37 feet. It's structure is a Tied Arch design.

One of the shortest covered bridges in Vermont.

 

 

Best Covered Bridge
Located 15 miles from Woodstock. On Churchill Road, off Route 44.
Bowers Bridge

 

Located in West Windsor, it was built in 1909 and spans 48 feet. It's structure is of Tied Arch design. Following its destruction by tropical storm Irene in 2011, it was completely reconsructed in 2012.

 

Bowers Covered Bridge
Located 16 miles from Woodstock off of Route 44. On Bible Hill Road.
Cornish-Windsor Bridge

 

Located in Windsor, it was built in 1866 and it's two spans total 460 feet. It's structure is a Town Lattice design. This is the longest two-span covered bridge in the world and the longest wooden bridge in the United States.

 

Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge
Located 17 miles from Woodstock. It is on Route 5 as you enter Windsor on Bridge Road.
Downers Bridge

Located in Weathersfield it was built in 1840 and spans 120 feet. It's structure is a Town Lattice design.

Downers Covered Bridge
Located 19 miles from Woodstock on Upper Falls Road just west of the junction of Route 106 and 131.
Salmond Bridge

 

Located in Weatherfield it was built 1880 and spans 54 feet. It's structure is a multiple Kingpost truss design.

Previously located in two different locations, it was first moved in 1959 to remove it from a flood control area to Amsden Vermont. In 1986 it was once again moved from Amsden Vermont, where it was being used as a town storage shed, to it's present locatieon.

 

Salmond Covered Bridge
Located 21 miles from Woodstock on Henry Gould Road, just off of 131.
More About Vermont's Covered Bridges