Covered Bridges in Vermont
Vermont is known for its Covered Bridges - today, there are over 100 covered bridges still in existence in Vermont, though only a portion of them are in use for daily traffic. The reason for their construction has become the stuff of lore - was it for privacy, so a couple might sneak a kiss as they passed over, or for shelter, so farmers with full hay wagons could weather a storm safely? While reasons such as these may have been added benefits of having covered bridges, the real reason is quite simple and practical - protection from the elements, not for the people, but for the bridge itself. The bridges were enclosed, or covered, to protect the massive beams from the weather.
Montgomery's Covered Bridges
Our town’s unique geography required many bridges, and as recently as the 1940s there were thirteen covered bridges within the town’s limits. Sadly, as modern requirements for larger loads, better safety, and cheaper maintenance required the replacement of wooden bridges, many of these wonderful structures were lost. It was only in the latter half of the last century that preserving them became an important priority.
Today there remain six covered bridges within the Montgomery town limits plus one which straddles the town line with Enosburg, making it the "Covered Bridge Town of the Green Mountains". In fact, there are 7 bridges if you count the one awaiting restoration! This is the largest number of covered bridges of any town in the country. We now know these beautiful bridges link us to our heritage - a time when life moved slower and, though often harsh, was also a time far less complicated.
Below are descriptions of Montgomery's Covered Bridges as well as brief directions on where you can find them. More precise directions are available at the Inn.
Located on South Richford Road in Montgomery Village. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1890. The bridge crosses the Black Falls Brook on the edge of town and is on South Richford Road.
Creamery Bridge Road, Montgomery Village. Town Highway #11 (Hill West Road). Go 2.6 miles, then left onto the Creamery Bridge Road, about a 1/2 mile. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1883. Crossing is WestHill Brook and Creamery Bridge Road.
As it is no longer in use, the bridge is a little hard to find. Its foundation is in need of restoration, but the bridge itself is surrounded by thick foliage which makes a lovely backdrop for fall photographs. Below the bridge is the West Hill Brook, a favorite bathing spot on hot summer days.
The Hectorville Bridge is Town Lattice, built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1883. As of the summer of 2005, the bridge was in storage along Route 118 between Montgomery Center and Montgomery Village. It is estimated that the cost of putting this bridge back over the Trout River is more than $300,000!
The Comstock Bridge is located in Montgomery Village. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1883. The bridge spans the Trout River and Comstock Road. It is in good condition and is used for daily traffic.
To find Hutchins Bridge, follow Route 118 south and make a right onto the bridge. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1883. The bridge crosses the South Branch of the Trout River and Hutchins Bridge Road. Steel girders have been placed inside the bridge to keep its strength up. The bridge is used for local traffic.
Longley Bridge is located on Town Highway #4 (Longley Bridge Road) in Montgomery Village. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1863. Crossing is over the Trout River. This bridge is in good condition and is used for daily traffic.
Hopkins Bridge is located on Route 118. Construction is town lattice built by Sheldon and Savannah Jewett in 1875. Crossing is Trout River and Hopkins Road.
Other Covered Bridges in the Area
There are another 14 covered bridges less than an hour's drive of the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn. These bridges become even more precious as each year goes by, especially so as we lose more each year to over-development in other regions of the country.