"The Hutchins Bridge, built in 1883 by the Jewett brothers, stands in a quiet valley out of view of the busy highway. A narrow unpaved road leads the traveler to the portal of the barn-red bridge. It is easy to imagine, in this isolated spot, that one has returned to the nineteenth century."
However, "it would be wrong to think of the Hutchins Bridge's history as idyllic and bucolic. This was a busy spot in 1883. Here, Joseph Hutchins' five-lathe factory produced 2,000 butter tubs a day. The bridge resounded with the arrival of the mill workers at dawn, and again with their departure at dusk. Teams of horses clattered through, bringing logs of spruce, hemlock, and basswood, and other teams took the completed butter tubs away. The bustle stopped only when night fell. Over the years, as industry and society changed, the activity waned until it finally stopped altogether when the factory shut its doors for good." Excerpt taken from Hutchins Bridge: A Short History.
The bridge was inspected in 1994 and found to be in very poor condition. The Vermont Agency of Transportation Covered Bridge team recommended that the bridge be closed and needed repairs be done. I-beams were installed to stabilize the bridge instead which allowed the bridge to continue to be used.
An engineering study was performed in 2006. The study identified the upper lateral bracing, trusses, flooring, and abutments in need of repair. The full report can be read here: ENGINEERING STUDY For the HUTCHINS COVERED BRIDGE.
Repair work was started in 2008 and completed in 2009 by Alpine Construction of Schuylerville, New York. Click on this link to follow the complete reconstruction project: Hutchins Bridge Finished - October 29.
Our thanks to the Town of Montgomery for allowing the posting of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society Welcome patch. For more information about the Montgomery area visit their website at www.montgomeryvt.us.
|Location:||Hutchins Bridge Road|
|Builder:||S. & S. Jewett|
|Truss Type:||Town Lattice|
|Truss Length:||77 feet|
|National Register of Historical Places Listing Date:||December 30, 1974|
|Repair Contractor:||Alpine Construction Schuylerville, NY.|
Credits: All pictures, information and descriptions are taken from Spanning Time Vermont's Covered Bridges by Joseph C. Nelson ©1997 and the World Guide to Covered Bridges - 2009 unless otherwise specified.