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Visiting the Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge, Woodsville, New Hampshire: Over the Ammonoosuc River, by Ithiel Town, 1829

Updated on April 3, 2019
State flag of New Hampshire
State flag of New Hampshire | Source
The Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge in Woodsville, NH.
The Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge in Woodsville, NH. | Source

Spanning the gushing Ammonoosuc River

Dating originally from 1829 and designed by architect and civil engineer Ithiel Town (1784-1844), the Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge spans the Ammonoosuc River at Woodsville, Grafton County, New Hampshire, near its confluence with the Connecticut River.

Sometimes referred to as a lattice truss bridge, it was built by Moses Abbott and Leonard Walker according to Ithiel Town's design, with funding by the towns of Haverhill and Bath hence the name (2).

The Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the late 20th century (another, nearby bridge serves this purpose) and was restored in 2004.

At its base, the Bridge is 256 feet 8 inches / 78.23 metres long; its width is 14 feet 4 inches / 4.37 metres wide; its the roof is 277 feet 8 inches / 84.63 metres long (3). Its dimensions likely make it the longest covered bridge in New Hampshire.

At the Ammonoosuc River at Woodsville, the place of the Covered Bridge's crossing coincides somewhat with rapids, with the Bridge functioning partly as a dam. Thus, when the waters of the Ammonoosuc are fairly high, the river — indeed, rapids — gives the appearance of flowing right through the structure.

When I visited Woodsville, the Ammonoosuc's waters seemed fairly high and the rapids were flowing rather vigorously — even more so than in the photo, above. I am left with the abiding impression of the rapids flowing right through the structure. (At least subliminally, echoes of Pennsylvania's Fallingwater, perhaps?)

April 3, 2019


(1) Other works by Architect Town include many lattice truss bridges of the variety seen at Woodsville, theSamuel Russell House, Middletown, Connecticut; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; and many others.

(2) Sometimes the order of the towns is reversed in reference to the Bridge; hence either "Haverhill-Bath" or "Bath-Haverhill".

(3) See also:

Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge - Woodsville, New Hampshire
Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge - Woodsville, New Hampshire | Source

Also at Woodsville, New Hampshire, the Romanesque Revival Opera Building dates from 1890.

The Frost Place, Franconia (distance: 20.6 miles / 33.1 kilometres) is a museum and poetry centre based in the former home of poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).


How to get there:

Burlington International Airport (distance to Woodsville, New Hampshire: 74.6 miles / 120 kilometres), where car rental is available from various companies, is served by a variety of airlines, including Porter, JetBlue, Delta and United, which fly to a number of North American connections. Woodsville lies close to the intersection of the I-91 with Route 302. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Visitors to the United States are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

New Hampshire counties map
New Hampshire counties map | Source

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