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Historic Sanderson Bridge Fabric Burned

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BRANDON, December 10, 2002 - Dear Bridgers,

The Sanderson Bridge in Brandon, or what's left of it, could use your help. It's undergoing repairs and strengthening to carry 20 tons, meaning most of the original timbers will have to go. (Most were in fact damaged by a roof that had no eaves, combined with a lack of maintenance.)

I had urged the town to save the timbers, either for historic display or so artisans could use the uniquely clear, strong wood.

On Monday, Dec. 9, a date which...well, anyway...I learned from someone who passes by the bridge going to and from work that Blow & Cote, the contractors, were "burning the wood to keep warm." I went to look, and found they were just plain burning the old planks to get rid of them.

I told the select board about this at their regular meeting Dec. 9, and again urged that the wood be stockpiled while a serious attempt was made to have it creatively re-used. Bridgers could help in two ways:

  1. Write and express concern about the loss of the original wood, so it is clear this is not just my personal concern.
  2. Seek out people who might want some of the wood. Furniture makers, instrument makers, sculptors would be possible candidates. Or some could go for museum use. Or school use, to teach about covered bridges.

Any mailings should go to Town Manager, Brandon Town Offices, Center Street, Brandon, Vt 05733. In the long run, there ought to be some sort of statewide program for conservation of rare old wood, including wood from barns, churches and meeting houses.

Thank you for your help,
Ed Barna, author of "Covered Bridges of Vermont"

Sanderson Covered Bridge Photo by Joe Nelson
Sanderson Bridge
Photo by Joe Nelson, 1997


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