This morning as I continued to read about the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irene I am once again reminded of how fragile life is. Irene formed on August 20th and within a week caused extensive damage in the Caribbean and the U.S.
Today's post is in memory of the estimated 27 people that died as a result.
Covered bridges are new to my world. I think I'd vaguely heard about them somewhere before but my interest was peaked as I saw this 141 year-old bridge (Bartonsville) washed away by the raging waters of Hurricane Irene. It was a 158 foot long bridge, one of the longest in Vermont.
This is the news clipping that caught my eye -
Rockingham, Vermont (WCAX News) - August 29, 2011
The flooding took a toll on infrastructure around the state -- including some of Vermont's historic covered bridges.
In Rockingham, the destruction of the 150-foot long Bartonsville Covered Bridge was caught on tape as it was swept away by the roaring Williams River.
The Village of Quechee was heavily damaged, with the covered bridge there torn away and left in tatters.
In Northfield Falls, the Cox Brook jumped it's banks and was doing damage to the Upper Cox bridge, one of three covered bridges in a quarter mile stretch.
So, my goal this morning was to find out how and why covered bridges came to be...
- Covered bridges can be dated back two thousand years to a time when they were being built in China and even earlier in ancient Babylon (780 B.C.). But the first covered bridge built in America was built in 1804. This bridge spanned the Hudson River in New York and was called the Waterford Bridge, lasting 105 years. (Source: History of Covered Bridges)
- One reason for covering bridges was to protect the trusses from the weather because the environment caused bridges to fail sooner. Bridge engineers pointed out "that a housed timber truss span has a life expectancy at least three times greater than one unhoused". (Source: History of Covered Bridges)
- In the U.S., Pennsylvania has more covered bridges (over 200) than any other state. Vermont and New Hampshire have more covered bridges per square mile than any other place in the world. Oregon has the largest number of historical covered bridges in the western U.S. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here are some other beautiful shots for you to enjoy...
|Pulp Mill Bridge was built in 1820 over the Otter Creek. |
It is a 195 foot long two span double barrel Burr Arch.
Photo: B&S Photography
|Gold Brook Bridge a.k.a. Emily's Bridge was built in 1844, is 49 feet long,|
crosses a stream in Stowe, Vermont and is reportedly haunted...
Photo: Joseph Sohm
|Middle Bridge was built as a reproduction in 1969 in Woodstock, VT. A 1877 iron bridge |
succeeded it. It carries Union Street over the Ottaquechee River and is 139 feet long.
|Woodstock Vermont, I couldn't find the name of this one |
but thought it was an extremely beautiful photo...
Photo: 365 Grateful Blog by Leslie
|Cornish-Windsor Bridge is two-span and 460 foot long. It was built in 1866 |
and is the longest in the U.S., spans the Connecticut River between
Vermont and New Hampshire. Photo: Joseph Sohm