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The Vermont Covered Bridge Society Newsletter - Spring 2017 - Issue 68

Events In Memoriam
President's Column From The Archives
Bridge-Watch Historical Committee
News From Other States Almost a Civil War Casualty
Communications Committee VCBS Lending Library
Annual Board of Director's Meeting For Sale
Membership Committee
Events Logo

Annual Spring Meeting

The Annual Spring Meeting for 2017 will be held at the Visions of Vermont Art Gallery, 100 Main St. in Jeffersonville, Vermont, on April 22 (not on April 15, Easter Weekend, as first scheduled).

Our speakers; Kyle Obenauer, VTrans Historic Preservation Specialist, and Brennan Gauthier, VTrans Archaeologist, will present an overview of the Scott Bridge rehabilitation, including requirements and challenges of working on the historic structure; a discussion about a recent site visit to the Clarendon home of noted covered bridge builder Nichols Powers; and an introduction to some of Vermont's earliest travel corridors and their evolution through the turn of the twentieth century, using Burlington as a case study.

The door will be open to the Sugarhouse Gallery next to the main gallery at 9:00 a.m. for set-up and socializing. Snack will be served. The Business meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. The presentations will begin at 10:00.

Lunch will be served at noon next door at the 158 Main Restaurant & Bakery to attendees paying their own way, to be followed by a guided covered bridge tour.

Visions of Vermont map
Location of Spring Meeting in Jeffersonville
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President's Logo

Shall the Vermont Covered Bridge Society continue to hold two business meetings with guest speaker in the Spring and Fall of each year, as we have been doing for the past several years; or shall we have just one business meeting annually with a guest speaker; or shall we hold a Spring business meeting and a fall social meeting; or some other option? The Board of Directors has been considering this question for some time now, and there is a distinct lack of consensus. We ask the members to tell us your thoughts about meetings - frequency and content. Email me wcarroll@crocker.com or Joe Nelson jcnelson@together.net and let us know your thoughts. This question will come up again at the 2018 Board meeting. In the meantime we will stay with the twice yearly meetings as in past years.

Bill Carroll, President VCBS

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bridge watch logo

Send news of Vermont covered bridges to editor Bill Caswell at
535 2nd NH Tpke, Hillsboro, NH 03244
or email at wscaswell@yahoo.com.

Seguin Bridge
WGN 45-04-02
Charlotte, Vermont

Charlotte residents and the local Conservation Commission celebrated the restoration of the Seguin Bridge (WG #45-04-02) on Sunday, January 22nd. The bridge is one of three historic covered bridges in the town. It was built around 1850 and was closed in June 2016. Repairs began in July. Work is complete and the bridge was reopened to traffic on December 9th.

The reconstruction cost about $650,000, most of which came from federal funding that the Vermont Agency of Transportation receives for bridge repairs. The bridge was suffering from rot and carpenter ant damage that had been found as early as 2013. It is believed to have been built by the Edgerton family and named after the Seguin family. Members of the Seguin family from Vermont and Connecticut attended the celebration. At the reception following the ceremony, Cecile Seguin Tyl spoke about the family's history.

The bridge connected the communities of Hinesburg and Ferrisburgh and bordered three mills on Lewis Creek - a clothing mill, a sawmill and a gristmill.

John Weaver, a VAOT engineer, said the Seguin Bridge retained 60 percent of its original truss arches throughout the project, and any rotted or damaged wood was replaced using Southern yellow pine. Most covered bridges in Vermont were originally built with spruce, fir or pine.

The Seguin Bridge has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. According to Conservation Commission Chair Amos Baehr, nearly 80 people came to celebrate the bridge's restoration.

News from VTDigger, January 23, 2017 and Melrose Duff

Seguin Covered bridge
Photo Courtesy Vermont Agency of Transportation
Seguin Covered bridge repairs
Seguin Bridge During Repair Work
Photo Courtesy Melrose Huff
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Pulp Mill Bridge
WGN 45-01-04
Middlebury, Vermont
Smoke in the Pulp Mill Bridge
4:50 pm Monday, February 27, 2017
Pulp Mill Bridge
Pulp Mill Bridge
Photo by Bill & Jenn Caswell
March 6, 2017

Irene Barna tells of hearing sirens as she was waiting for the bus at the end of her workday. From where they were heard it could be determined that the trucks were heading toward the area of the Pulp Mill Bridge.

Once on the bus, the driver and a passenger both reported seeing a policeman with a fire extinguisher in hand at the Middlebury end of the bridge and there was still a great deal of smoke within the bridge - but no urgency.

Later that evening Irene phoned the Middlebury Police Department for information. The officer explained that when he arrived at the smoky bridge, he grabbed his fire extinguisher and rushed into the bridge. The source of the smoke: Someone had "laid rubber" through the bridge so that it was filled with rubber smoke!

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Longley Bridge
WGN 45-06-08
Montgomery, Vermont

Bids to construct the new Longley Bridge in Montgomery have been opened. The project was awarded to Alpine Construction of Mt. Holley, VT. According to the Vermont Agency of Transportation website, their bid for the project was $1,035,899.80. The project was expected to begin in late February although as of March 5, there is no evidence of construction.

The VAOT website states that the project includes "replacement of the town lattice trusses, installation of a new flooring system, replacement of siding and steel roofing, minor substructure and approach work, and removal of the existing temporary bridge."

Longley covered bridge
Photo by Bill & Jenn Caswell
March 5, 2017
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Scott Bridge
WGN 45-13-13
Townshend, Vermont

Our winter issue noted that repairs to the Scott Bridge are nearly complete. During a visit to the bridge on March 6th, it appeared that the work is complete although the entrances to the bridge are still fenced off.

Be sure to attend the April 22nd meeting to learn more about this project.

Scott covered bridge interior
Photo by Bill & Jenn Caswell
March 6, 2017
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Salisbury Station Bridge
WGN 45-01-01
Salisbury & Cornwall, Vermont

The remains of the Salisbury Station Bridge connecting Salisbury and Cornwall have been removed and a temporary structure is in place to carry traffic until a new permanent bridge can be constructed. The historic covered bridge was lost in a devastating fire on September 10, 2016. As of the end of December, fire officials have still not determined a cause for the blaze. Town officials have heard from many people who wish to see a new covered bridge built at that location.

Salisbury Station Closed covered bridge
Photos courtesy Addison County Independent
& Trent Campbell
Salisbury Station temporary bridge
Photos courtesy Addison County Independent
& Trent Campbell

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Fuller Bridge
WGN 45-06-05#2
Montgomery, Vermont

During a visit on March 5th, damage to the north portal was noticed on the Fuller Bridge. A cable was strung to hold the vertical timbers in place.

Salisbury Station Closed covered bridge
Photo by Bill & Jenn Caswell
March 6, 2017
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News From Other States Logo

Historic Virginia Covered Bridge Lost in Windstorm
Reynold's Farm Bridge
Reynold's Farm Bridge
Photo by Bob Sheldon

On Wednesday, March 1, high winds caused damage throughout the northeastern states. One of the casualties was the Reynold’s Farm Bridge (World Guide #46-35-03) near Newport in Giles County, Virginia.

The 36-foot long Queenpost bridge was built in 1919. The bridge served a cattle farm owned by Larry Thompson. Mr. Thompson purchased the property about a year ago and had been consulting with a contractor about repairing and strengthening the bridge. Now that it has been demolished, he has stated his desire to have it rebuilt.

(Roanoke Times, March 4, 2017)
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Maryland Bridge Rebuilt After Truck Damage
Roddy Road Bridge
Roddy Road Bridge
Frederick County, Maryland
Photo by Michael Rudnick
January 17, 2017

The Roddy Road Covered Bridge (WG #20-10-02) near Thurmont, Maryland was badly damaged by an oversized vehicle on June 16, 2016. Work on the bridge began in October and was nearly complete at the end of February. The large timbers are new and this will be listed as a new covered bridge.

According to the contractor, Fitzgerald's Heavy Timber Construction of Thurmont, Maryland, the top three feet of the center 'King posts' had both been shattered from the impact of the truck. In order to replace the king posts the bridge had to be completely disassembled due to the way that the posts and diagonal braces are interlocking. All four braces were rotted at the bottom ends and were replaced. The braces had been repaired before and it was deemed better for the long term safety of the bridge to replace them this time.

(Frederick News-Post, December 26, 2016)
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Communications Logo

by Joe Nelson, Chair

Our Facebook page is alive and well, reports Steve Miyamoto, our website guru. "We just passed 500 'likes' a few weeks ago. All the news I get from you, Tom and others is posted on the Facebook page. We usually get a few visits a week."

Steve also reports that work continues on our new site; www.vermontbridges.org, "...and I hope to have something presentable by the Spring Meeting."

It will be a modernized, prettier, version of what we have. While we're planning what features will be retained on the new site, we are asking for suggestions from you, the membership, for new ideas. Send your suggestions to me, at jcarlnelson@yahoo.com.

Our new site is part of our mission to advocate the preservation of our covered bridges. Hopefully it will make the public aware of our existence and of our mission. Covered bridge news and the activities of our society can be viewed on that site, and hopefully, we'll be attracting new friends and followers.

Another of our outreach tools is The Bridger, our newsletter. We like to share our PDF version with other organizations, costing us nothing but the time it takes to issue it by email. Many of our members are signed up for the PDF version, saving us the cost of printing and mailing, one of the largest expenses we have. The bonus? All of those beautiful covered bridge photos in each issue are received in full color. Try it, you might like it. jcarlnelson@yahoo.com.

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The 2017 Annual Board of Directors Meeting Held

Led by William Carroll, VCBS President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, the 2017 Annual Board meeting was held beginning on February 6, and concluded on February 24, convening in accordance with VCBS Constitution and Bylaws Article 3, Part 2. Also in accordance with Article 3, Part 2, the meeting was conducted by email. The votes for the six proposals on the agenda were sent to Joe Nelson for recording.

The proposed budget for 2017 of $3,718.00 was accepted. The amount assumes that our grant for the resurrection of the Hectorville Bridge will be awarded. In contrast, last year's proposed budget was $8,598.00 assuming our grants for the Hectorville and Sanborn Bridges, $2,000.00, and 5,000.00 respectively, would be given. Because neither project progressed, only $734.00 of the 2016 budget was spent.

The amounts received in the year 2016 in donations and sales, $2,915.00, was voted to go to the Save-a-bridge fund ($2,500.00 of that amount was willed to the Society by the late Jean Carrington, a longtime and dedicated member).

The Board voted unanimously to invite Adrienne Hitchcock to take the late Ray Hitchcock's chair on the Board. 1

The attendees of the Annual 2016 Spring Meeting asked that our annual meeting schedule be changed. The board voted on the following suggested changes:

  1. Should we continue the meeting organization we now have, i.e. an Annual Spring Meeting and an Annual Fall meeting, each with a business meeting?
  2. Should we change the meeting organization we now have, with an Annual Spring Meeting and an Annual Fall meeting, but with a business meeting only in the Fall?
  3. Should we change the meeting organization we now have, and hold but one Annual meeting per year in the spring with a business meeting included?
  4. Should we change the meeting organization we now have, with an Annual Spring Meeting and an Annual Fall meeting, without a business meeting in either, the business meetings to be held by email?

There were 3 votes for item 1 (make no changes), 0 votes for item 2 (as is, but with business meeting only in the fall), 4 votes for Item 3 (hold one meeting per year in the spring with a business meeting), and 3 votes for item 4 (hold both fall and spring meetings, but with the business meetings held by email).

None of the four items carried and no dialog followed the vote, however six of the ten board members voting want to hold both spring and fall meetings. We will continue to hold two membership meetings per year as we have done in the past, and reconsider the question of business meetings at the 2018 Board of Directors Meeting.

The board voted to continue support of the restoration of the Hectorville Bridge with our $2000.00 pledge if the fundraising by the Montgomery towns people succeeds.

The situation with the Hectorville Bridge project as reported by Pat Farmer: "The town just doesn't have the resources to restore Hectorville, even with grant aid. We are now in process of sending out a letter to the town's people telling them what had been done, and where we need to go from here."

"The letter asks for those interested to step forward and contact committee members and states that the committee especially needs people who know how and are willing to do serious fundraising. If a positive response comes back, the committee will morph into a fundraising organization. If a positive response is not had, I'm afraid the bridge will go up for sale."

The VCBS board voted to donate to the ALS Association of New England in the name of Ray Hitchcock, but the amount was not determined. William Carroll, board chair, set the amount at $100.00.

1 Adrienne responded to the offer of Ray's seat on the Board of Director's with a note: "Thank you for your kind offer of becoming a board member for the VCBS. I have decided to give myself some time to sort out my future. Part of that is to leave myself unencumbered for the time being. Know that I will continue to be supportive of this fine organization."

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Membership Logo

Hope this winter has allowed you some time to get outside and explore the beauty of New England. Perhaps you've had a chance to see a new (or an old favorite) covered bridge along the way.

I'd like to extend a hearty welcome to our new members - Rudy Henderson of Independence, MO; Melanie Schropp of Waterville, OH; and Michael Lockwood of Myrtle Beach, SC. We're glad to have you with us!

Thank you to all who have already renewed your membership for 2017. We're happy to have you as part of the society, and we hope you'll continue for many years to come. If you haven't had a chance to renew, it's not too late. Simply make your check payable to VCBS and mail it to P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining us by visiting www.vermontbridges.com. As members, we are investing in the future of Vermont's covered bridges. We are grateful to have you on board, and we encourage you to invite your family and friends to join as well.

Everyone who renewed their membership prior to December 31 was eligible for a chance to win a prize. Congratulations to Valerie Tipton, our lucky winner! Valerie wins her choice of the book entitled Spanning Time, by fellow VCBS member Joe Nelson, or free membership for the following two years. Valerie, I will be in touch with you to see which prize you'd like.

Please help us grow our membership. Spread the word about VCBS and why it's important to you and to our communities. Invite your family and friends to be a part. Mention us on your Facebook page and encourage people to check out our website and join our Facebook page. Let’s get the word out about VCBS.

If you'd like to help with membership activities, or if you have any questions for me, I can be reached at wpayson@gmail.com.

Wendy Payson

Happy Birthday and Anniversary to:

2 John Billie Gordon O'Reilly
4 Sarah Ann Gallagher
8 Neil Daniels Merrilyn Towne
12 Priscilla Farnham
16 Bruce Laumeister
21 Thomas & Lisette Keating
23 Steve Miyamoto
24 Adrienne Hitchcock
02 Nancy Hoch
13 Gary Krick
22 Anthony Daniels Dell and Nacy Hoch
3 William Carroll Thomas Keating
4 Sarah Ann Gallagher
6 Debbie Whiston
9 Erwin Eckson
10 Charles Lovastik
11 Steve Wheaton
12 James Crouse
15 Andy Behrens
17 Ron Bechard
19 Mary Ann Waller
22 Irene Barna Lisette Keating
27 June Gendron
28 Bill McKone

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In Memoriam Logo

William "Bill" B. DeLaney

We have recently learned that life member Bill DeLaney of West Caldwell, NJ, passed away on April 18, 2016 after a long illness. Bill graduated from Penn State with a degree in electrical engineering and served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He worked at General Electric's NELA Park, retiring in 2000. He was Technical and Lighting Director at East Cleveland Theater for over 40 years. While scoutmaster of troop 63 in East Cleveland, he met Beverly Daigle, and they married in 1984. They moved to New Jersey in 2011. Survivors include wife, Beverly of West Caldwell, NJ; sons David of TN and Bruce and wife Laura of ID; daughter Erin of NJ; stepsons James Daigle and wife Zanda of NY and David Daigle and wife Jill of NJ; and 6 grandchildren.

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From The Archives Logo

Lamoille County Covered Bridges
(continued from previous issue)
45-08-06 Lumber Mill (or Lower) Bridge, Belvidere
Lumber Mill Bridge
Lumber Mill Bridge
Louis B. Puffer Photo
Richard E. Roy Collection

This bridge, one of two covered bridges in Belvidere, crosses North Branch Lamoille River very close to the Waterville/Belvidere town line, a short distance north of VT 109 at Belvidere Junction on a side road that parallels the river and rejoins VT 109 at Belvidere Center. It is a Queenpost truss bridge, 71 feet long, built in 1895 by Lewis Robinson. Steel beams were placed beneath the deck in 1971 after a truck went through the floor. Major repairs were made to the truss in 1995, and the roof was replaced with a standing-seam steel roof about 2001. This bridge was placed on the National Register in 1974. In the VCBS Archives are copies of four 4x6 inch Kodacolor prints taken in the 1990s, a copy of a Polaroid print with informational notes made in 1975, and an undated black and white snapshot, probably from the 1950s.

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45-08-07 Morgan (or Upper) Bridge, Belvidere
Morgan Bridge
Morgan Bridge
Richard E. Roy Collection

This bridge is located less than a mile upstream from Lumber Mill Bridge, and carries a crossroad that leads southerly back to Vt. 109 between Belvidere Junction and Belvidere center. It is also a Queenpost truss bridge, and was also built by Lewis Robinson. The bridge is 65 feet long and was built in 1887. The roof was replaced with a standing-seam steel roof around 2001, probably at the same time as Lumber Mill Bridge. This bridge was also placed on the National Register in 1974. The VCBS Archives has copies of five 4x6 inch Kodacolor prints taken in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a copy of a color Polaroid print with informational notes made in 1975, and an undated black and white snapshot, probably from the 1950s.

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45-08-08x and 45-08-08#2 Power House Bridge, Johnson
Power House Bridge
Original Power House Bridge
C. E. Walker Photo

This bridge across the Gihon River is on School Street in Johnson at its intersection with VT 100C, about one-half mile northeast of the center of Johnson. The original Queenpost truss bridge, 63 feet long, was built in 1872, builder unknown. It collapsed in March of 2001 from the weight of the nearly 100 inches of snow that had fallen during the winter. Construction of a new covered bridge, almost identical to the original, was begun in the spring of 2001, and the new bridge was opened in the spring of 2002. The original bridge was placed on the National Register in 1974. The VCBS Archives has copies of five 4x6 inch Kodacolor prints taken in 1991 and 1992, a copy of a Polaroid color print with informational notes made in 1975, 2 copies of a 6x9 inch oversized Kodacolor postcard photographed by George French, and two undated monochrome prints, probably from a calendar. We also have clippings of newspaper articles of the collapse and rebuilding of the bridge, two from the Burlington Free Press, and one from the Morrisville News & Citizen. We have one copy of a 4x6 inch Kodacolor print of the new bridge, taken ca. 2004.

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45-08-09 Scribner Bridge, Johnson
Scribner Bridge
C. E. Walker Photo
Richard E. Roy Collection

This bridge also crosses the Gihon River in Johnson and is located about a mile east (upstream) of Power House Bridge on Rocky Road, which intersects with VT 100C about a mile east of School Street and Power House Bridge. The bridge is 48 feet long and was built ca. 1919. It is a modified Queenpost truss, with the tension members (queenposts) iron rods rather than wood. The truss also is lower than usual for this type of bridge which suggests that the bridge may have originally been an open bridge with boxed trusses that was covered at a later date. In 1960 the bridge was reconstructed with steel beams supporting the deck. The VCBS Archives has copies of eight 4x6 inch Kodacolor prints taken between 1990 and 2005, as well as a copy of a color Polaroid print with informational notes made in 1975.

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Just a little old wooden covered bridge
In a small town up in northern Vermont.
Nestled at the foot of a mountain ridge
Many the memory you must haunt;
Though you're not so pretty as yesteryear
You need many repairs, and painting too,
But your rustic beauty is just as dear
And all who have seen you will say it's true;
Little old bridge you have been there so long
With unpolished splendor that seems to last,
Stood floods and storms, and made happy the throng
Who used you daily in all the years past,
Old covered bridge may time never erase
Such beauty, by putting steel in your place.

Richford, Vermont

1. From The Enosburg Standard, September, 1939,
donated by member Rae Laitres

"An old covered bridge" is written about an old covered bridge in Montgomery known to people there as the "Comstock Bridge". It is the third bridge you pass thru going from East Berkshire and at this time of year is an especially beautiful old rustic sight, cuddling against the hill and trees there with a little stream flowing under it.

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Historical Committee Logo

The Jean Carrington Collection, received in November, has been organized and arranged. This large collection of 406 Kodacolor prints includes 377 photographs of Vermont covered bridges, 12 photographs of covered bridges from other states, and 17 other photographs including waterfalls in Vermont. There is at least one photograph of every covered bridge existing in Vermont at the time the pictures were taken, mostly in the 1990s. At this point the bridge photographs have been arranged by County and the NSPCB numbers, and have been placed in archival quality polypropylene enclosures (chemically inert). Still to be done is copying the best prints of each bridge for inclusion in our bridge files. After this is completed the collection will be kept in a climate-controlled facility.

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Almost a Civil War Casualty
By Michael DeVito

To many of you this is, no doubt, an old story, but it is told here for the benefit of those to whom it will be "news".

Vermont has earned her rightful place in the history of this great country of ours. She has responded with her share of men and material, heartbreak and sorrow, to every call to duty for every war this country has experienced. Did you know that she almost gave one of her covered bridges to the cause during the Civil War? Not much to give, you may think, but if events had taken a different turn, the outcome of the war might have been a Southern victory!

We have in mind the Famous Raid at St. Albans, the northern-most action of the Civil War. This Raid took place on the 19th of October, 1864, just about a hundred years ago. Bennett Young, a youthful Lieutenant in the Confederate Army (he was only 21 years old) and a group of twenty Southerners, all disguised as sportsmen come down from Canada for some fishing, showed their true colors that day.

At three o'clock in the afternoon of that eventful day, Mr. Young, casting aside his disguise, mounted the porch of St. Alban's leading hostelry, drew a revolver, and announced in a very loud voice, "In the name of the Confederate States, I take possession of St. Albans!" He then sent his raiders into St. Albans' three banks, and to gather the townsfolk on the village green. Shortly thereafter, he and his men fled from the village with more than $200,000.

Their plan was to escape back to Canada with the loot, after setting the town a fire with Greek-fire, a mixture of naphtha, sulphur, quick-lime and water. They did get back to Canada with the loot, but the plan to burn the town failed: the bottled mixture did not ignite. During a flurry of gunfire, the raiders managed to kill but one man—the only pro-Southerner in town!

The raiders were hotly pursued by the townspeople under the leadership of a young captain of the northern Army, who was home on leave. So hotly pursued were they that they passed right through Swanton without stopping to rob the bank as planned. They did, however, pause long enough to fire a barn, hoping to delay their pursuers.

After passing through Swanton, the raiders turned eastward toward Fairfield Pond and Sheldon, intending to rob the Sheldon Bank. Finding the bank closed, and their pursuers rapidly approaching, they decided not to take time to break into the bank. Instead, they took whatever they wanted of horses and food and went on to Enosburg.

Sheldon Bridge
Sheldon Bridge
Richard E. Roy Collection
NSPCB Archives

To slow up the pursuers the raiders, as they crossed Sheldon's double-barrel covered bridge, threw some of the bottled bombs and set the bridge afire. The people of the village, however, put out the fire and saved the structure.

The Raid on St. Albans had four objectives, as planned: to obtain money, to get back to Canada, to show Confederate military strength in the north, so that the Federal government would take troops from Southern battlefields and send them to Vermont, thus removing some of the pressure from Lee's army, and to anger Vermonters enough so that they would counter-raid into Canada in retaliation, thus violate British territory and bring on an Anglo-American war (which could have led to a Southern victory).

The first two of these objectives were realized, but the third and fourth failed. Not a single Soldier was taken from Southern battlefields - Vermonters themselves handled the situation. And the Anglo-American war never materialized. Instead, Canadian authorities were so angered by the raid that they tossed the raiders into jail! Most of the stolen money was recovered and returned to the banks.

Each year, on the 19th of October, the Raid is remembered and celebrated in Vermont, as the northernmost, and only, action of the Civil War which took place on her soil.

But what about the covered bridge that figured in this Raid? Before we tell you that, let us give you a brief look at the village wherein it was located.

Originally called Hungerford, its name was changed to Sheldon, in honor of George Sheldon, who, with a family named McNamara, first settled here in 1790. They came by ox team, and they built the first log house here, near the Missisquoi River. The first child born here was a negro child born to one of the McNamara's negro servants.

The early settlers suffered many hardships, not the least of which was caused by Indians and wolves. At first, the settlers' chief occupation was farming, fighting Indians and wolves. But, as time passed and the settlement grew, some of the settlers decided to make use of the abundant waterpower at hand.

Black Creek, which runs through the village, soon was turning the wheels of a starch factory, gristmill, and a sawmill. An iron foundry was built on the east side of the creek. This was one of the first iron foundries in Vermont. Potash kettles, stoves and hollowware were manufactured, and the demand for ironware was so great that at one time it became known as "Sheldon's currency."

As time went on folks on both sides of the creek wished for an easier way of crossing from one side to the other. Eventually, a bridge was built. What happened to this first bridge is not recorded, but in 1836, the townspeople voted to erect a bridge over Black Creek, to have stone abutments and two travels, to be arched and covered overhead.

This double-barrel bridge, approximately 50 feet long, was constructed in 1836-37. After serving the community for 95 years, it was consumed by fire of unknown origin on April 5, 1932. Destroyed with the bridge were two stores, the Post Office, a Creamery, and Creamery house, the blacksmith shop, and some icehouses and horse sheds.

For some time after the fire, the children of the village enjoyed the thrill of crossing the creek on a swinging footbridge in going and coming from school. A modern cement bridge now serves the village.

The author's thanks to Mrs. Grace M. Winchester, Town Clerk of Sheldon, Vt.; without her help this story could not have been written.

[From Connecticut River Valley Covered Bridge Society Bulletin Spring 1964, part of the collection donated to the VCBS by Dick Roy, National Society Historian.]
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Book Logo

VCBS Lending Library: a Learning/Pleasure Reading/Research Source

It's March already, and except for a few flurries, it's kind of late to go get those wonderful snowy covered bridge photos. Now, it's time to plan your covered bridge tours come vacation time.

For this, we have just the book for you! New England's Covered Bridges, by Ben and June Evans.

Ben and June have visited all five New England States with covered bridges and filled their book with color photos and the GPS locations of each bridge. For those without smart phones, they've also provided the usual road directions.

You may borrow this fantastic find from The Vermont Covered Bridge Society lending library available to all society members-in-good standing through media mail.

Then too, there is Ed Barna's Covered Bridges of Vermont, organized for touring, and featuring photos and well-researched stories about each bridge.

Librarian Warren Tripp has created a detailed book list complete with a description and critique of each book. Copies of the index are available by mail, or you may contact Joe Nelson for a PDF copy at jcarlnelson@yahoo.com, or go to the website and click the Vermont Covered Bridge Society button, then select About the VCBS, then The VCBS Lending Library. Or, visit: http://vermontbridges.com/whatis.vcbs.htm

A borrower can contact Warren Tripp who will send the book by Postal Service Media Mail. Books are returned the same way.

Send Warren the complete title of the book(s) you wish to borrow. He will respond with the mailing cost and mail the order when the fee is received. The borrower is then responsible to return the item(s) in a reasonable time, preferably not more than two months.

And, if you have covered bridge books you would like to share, the library will be pleased to accept them. Contact Warren Tripp, P. O. Box 185, South Barre, VT 05046, fftwbt@yahoo.com, Phone (802) 584-3545.

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Spanning Time book

Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joseph C. Nelson

Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges features 102 color photographs of Vermont's covered bridges in fifteen chapters, each a guided tour. The tours are complete with maps, commentary on the uniqueness of each bridge, and historic highlights about the towns and villages in which the bridges stand.

An appendix provides: A Summary of Vermont's Covered Bridges, listing information on each; A Covered Bridge Glossary, describing the details of a covered bridge; A Bridge Truss section, explaining how trusses work with drawings of the trusses used in Vermont; The Bridge Builders, providing thumbnail biographies of people who designed and built the bridges; A Covered Bridge Reading List, for bridge and history buffs; A detailed Index. Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges: 7" x 10", 288 pages. Published by New England Press at P.O. Box 575, Shelburne, VT 05482. Spanning Time is available directly from the author for $39.00, free shipping.

Go to Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges Special Book Offer
Also see: www.vermontbridges.com/bookreviews.htm.

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New York State's Covered Bridges book
New York State's Covered Bridges

When one typically thinks of covered bridges, New York is not the first state to come to mind, but New York once had over 300 covered bridges. Floods, fires and progress have claimed all but 32. Readers will enjoy seeing NY's current bridges, including the oldest existing covered bridge in the United States, the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge, located in Glimmerglass State Park, and the world's longest singlespan covered bridge in the world, the Blenheim Covered Bridge, washed away by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. This book also highlights the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center in Oxford, NY, the first ever center of its kind specifically designed for covered bridge researchers.

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Connecticut and Rhode Island's Covered Bridges book

Connecticut and Rhode Island Covered Bridges

During their heyday in the mid to late 1800's, more than 150 covered bridges dotted the landscape of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since that time, floods, fires, and progress have claimed all but two of the historic structures. With over 200 images, this book provides insight into the covered bridge history of an area that has not been well documented in the past.

To order your signed copy, send $20.00 to:

Bill Caswell
535 Second NH Turnpike
Hillsboro, NH 03244.
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Covered Bridges of New England DVD

Covered Bridges of New England - DVD

Produced by Ocean State Video of Rhode Island for Public Television. On Sale: $20.00. Profits will go to the Vermont covered Bridge Society's Save-A-Bridge Program. For your copy send $20.00 plus $2.50 shipping to Joe Nelson, P.O. Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267.

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Coming Soon!

There will be four beautiful Eric Tobin Covered Bridge signed prints for sale in three image sizes; 10x12, 16x20 and 20x30, the profits will be shared with the VCBS. The price range will be from about $100 to $500 depending on size and framing.

Watch for them in The Bridger newsletter, and on our website www.vermontbridges.com under Covered Bridge Market Place.

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VCBS Contacts
Office:Name and AddressEmail address
President:Bill Carroll 5 Hutchinson Lane Lenox, MA 01240wcarroll@crocker.com
Vice President:Joe Nelson, PO Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465jcarlnelson@yahoo.com
Secretary:Irene Barna, 7 Forbes Circle, Middlebury, VT 05753-1128ibarna@middlebury.edu
Membership:Wendy Payson, 157 Brickyard Road, Southampton, MA 01073wpayson@gmail.com
Treasurer:Neil Daniels, 118 Harvest Hill, Lebanon, NHneildanielsvt@gmail.com
Bridger Editor:Bill Caswell, 535 Second NH Tpke, Hillsboro, NH 03244wscaswell@yahoo.com
Communications:Joe Nelson, PO Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465jcarlnelson@yahoo.com
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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267 This file posted 12/19/2017

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