from the "Windham County's Famous Covered Bridges, by Victor Morse, Revised and with an introduction by Richard Sanders Allen (c) by The Book Cellar, Brattleboro, Vermont 1960"
Brattleboro's sole surviving covered bridge is one of the best, as far as utility and condition are concerned, to be found. Although Creamery Bridge stands basically as it was built, it has been conscientiously repaired and reinforced and promises to last a long time.
........................................................Photo by Christie Locascio
The Covered Bridge can be rented for a Wedding or Special Occasion. Contact the Brattleboro Parks & Rec center M-F, 9-Noon, 1-5pm Phone: 802-254-5808
Built in 1879 at a total cost of $1,037.80 to replace a bridge wrecked by a freshet the previous November, the selectmen proudly reported that while the bridge cost more than it would have if local carpenters had been familiar with covered bridge building, it cost less than the estimate of A.H. Wright, noted Greenfield, Massachusetts, bridge builder. Moreover, the lattices were half an inch thicker than his specifications and spruce lumber was used, while Wright made his estimates for hemlock. (Many New England bridges were built of hemlock, which has proved itself durable, but spruce has been found to be better because it is lighter and has to support less of its own weight.)
Creamery Bridge was built in the same year as the Elliot Street Iron Bridge, another Whetstone Brook crossing. Thus was provided a sort of endurance race, with the comparative durability of wooden and iron bridges at issue. Creamery Bridge and the virtues of wood won out, for the Elliot Street Bridge was replaced in 1948.
Among the men who built the bridge or supplied material for it were: B. A. Clark, C. F. Thompson, S.N.Herrick, J.A. Church, Thomas Mitchell, D. W. Miller, L. G. Pratt, A. H. Stowe, H.C. Winchester, W.H. Fisher, John Hood, J. N. Herrick and T. P. Night.
The bridge is the Town Lattice construction so widely used for New England covered bridges. The timbers are fastened to one another and to the cords at top and bottom by big wooden pins. This type of truss was named after Ithiel Town, a Connecticut architect who invented in it 1820, some twenty-seven years before the mathematical process of designing bridges was conceived.
Creamery Bridge so called after the old Brattleboro Creamery which stood beyond it, is one of the few in the country to be painted. It is barn red and the inside shows traces of a coat of fire-resistant whitewash applied long ago. In keeping with its urban setting there is a street light inside. Years ago village covered bridges often were lighted at night with oil lanterns and many a boy of the old school earned $2 a year by tending them.
The covered sidewalk at one side was put on about 40 years ago (1920) and slate replaced shingles on the roof - two features which make the Creamery Bridge unique in Windham County. On the west side of the bridge are traces of what was once an advertisement of the drugstore operated by George a Briggs in quarters now occupied by the Vermont National & Savings Bank.
In recent years(1960) Creamery Bridge has received national publicity for its sleigh and reindeer mounted on the roof, all bathed in light at night. Decorating the bridge has become an annual event sponsored by the Brattleboro Lions Club and supervised by Dr. Stanley D. Banks of that town.
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Other LINKS related to Vermont Covered Bridges
The number is the World Guide to Covered Bridges (WGCB) ID number. They've assigned a unique number to every covered bridge in the world that they know of. For authentic historical covered bridges in the US, the first two digits are for the state, the next two are for the county, & the last two are the unique bridge number. I enjoy Eric Sloane's books & also Richard Sanders Allen's & Kramer Adams' covered bridge books, tho' they're somewhat dated now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VehaRSNl7uA
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covered_bridge
List of Vermont Bridges - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covered_bridge
Virtual Vermont - http://www.virtualvermont.com/coveredbridges/
Vermont Covered Bridges - http://www.vtliving.com/coveredbridges/index.shtml
National Register of Historic Places 73000202 NRIS (National Register Information System)
Map to the 5 Covered Bridges in Windham County, Vermont (Scroll to the bottom of the page)
WayBack Machine's "The Covered Bridge Numbering System" - http://web.archive.org/web/20050407090444/http://members.aol.com/jreinhl/maps/numbers.htm
The covered bridge numbering system was devised by John Diehl of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1953
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