June 4, 2002 - Just a Note
I found the essay UNCOVERING THE PAST by Steve Miyamoto very interesting. My family owned a home near Norwich VT on Pompanoosuc river. There was an old abutment for a bridge that spanned the river just before it joined the Connecticut river, I was always curious regarding the history of this bridge. I could never uncover any information about this structure.
Do you have any suggestions regarding where I might find such information?
June 4, 2002 - Pompanoosuc Village Bridge
Dear Mr. Ullrich: In 1962 a small book entitled "Rare Old Covered Bridges of Windsor County (Vermont)" was written by Richard Sanders Allen, one of the foremost authorities on covered bridges. On page 21 of the above title is information on the Pompanoosuc Village Bridge, World Guide Number 45-14-67. I quote from this book:
"Drowned out ... the subject of thousands of photographs, was the big bridge on U.S. 5 at Pompanoosuc village. This long span was a valley landmark for nearly a century. Pompanoosuc Bridge was built in 1866 by Bela J. Fletcher of Claremont, New Hampshire, who received $9,913.35 "For work done." Describes as "a practical bridge builder and general carpenter," Fletcher is thought to have had a hand in the building of similar bridges over the Connecticut at Fairlee-Orford and Lewiston-Hanover. He collaborated with James F. Tasker on the Windsor-Cornish Bridge and, being fifteen years older, may well have taught the latter a great deal of trade.
Pompanoosuc Bridge used a new system of lattice which Fletcher may have thought up himself, adapting the original Town "mode." The lattices were square timbers instead of usual planks, pinned together with iron bolts held by nuts and washers.
Even after U.S. 5 was changed in 1937 to a new crossing further downstream, Pompanoosuc Bridge continued to be used until nearly flooded out. Considered a menace when left only just a bit above the level of waters resulting from the new Wilder Dam, it was razed in 1954."
I hope that this helps out a bit.
Dick Roy, Historian,
National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges