Covered Bridges

Stretching across rivers and streams, covered bridges recall a time when horse-drawn wagons were the only traffic. Many of these graceful bridges were originally uncovered, and there is an ongoing debate over why the cap was added. The most widely accepted reason for the roof is to protect the wooden trusses from harsh weather. The cap also served to protect a wagonload of travelers from a sudden thunder shower or snow squall, and the walls became a kiosk for advertisements. The covering does not contribute to the strength of the bridge, but the trimmings of the arcs and windows were the part of the construction in which the builder could show his ingenuity.

Take a minute to look at the size of the timbers used in the building of the bridge - some of the enormous logs offer proof of the virgin forest that filled this land with trees taller than 100 feet. Many covered bridges have been replaced by concrete and steel structures to accommodate larger loads. Those that remain are often tucked away along back roads. These bridges are treasured for their simple beauty - a reminder that horses' hooves once clop-clopped along the boards, and the distance from one ban to the next was counted in footfalls.



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