Documenting North America's past & present covered bridges


Powerscourt, Huntingdon County

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SQPC Number: QC/61-27-01
County: Huntingdon County
Township: Elgin - Hinchinbrook
Town/Village: Powerscourt
Bridge Name: Powerscourt
Crosses: Rivière Châteauguay
Truss type: McCallum
Spans: 2
Length: 164'-7", 50.2m
Roadway Width:
Built: 1861
When Lost: standing
Latitude: N45 00.42
Longitude: W074 09.65
See a map of the area
Topographic map of the area
Directions: 4.6 miles north of US11 at Chateaugay, NY on River St. to Canadian border, continue 1.3 miles (2.1 km) ahead, then 3.2 miles (5.1 km) left on chemin de la 1re-Concession. At Powerscourt.

Pont Powers Court or Percy, Elgin-Hinchenbrook, MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, QC Built 1861
Bill Caswell Photo, August 1992

Pont Powers Court or Percy, Elgin-Hinchenbrook, MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, QC Built 1861
Richard E. Roy Collection (1973)

Pont Powers Court or Percy, Elgin-Hinchenbrook, MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, QC Built 1861
Verna B. Gatchell Photo (1953), Richard E. Roy Collection

In 1857 a freshet destroyed an existing bridge at this site. A temporary bridge was constructed, but that bridge, too, was destroyed by another flood in March 1861. On June 19, 1861, the Huntingdon, Quebec, County Council awarded the construction contract to local blacksmith Robert Graham for $1,675. Work began on July 1861 and was completed by the end of the year. The Council accepted the bridge in March 1862. It is likely, though not documented, that a nearby McCallum truss railroad bridge served as a model for the Powerscourt Bridge. According to Huntingdon County Council Minutes, the Powerscourt Bridge was repaired at least a half-dozen times prior to the turn of the century. In 1903-04, Thomas Chalmers rebuilt the piers and superstructure at a cost of $3857.50.6 In 1949, concrete piers were built in front of the abutments to shorten the length of both spans. The lower chords were rebuilt in 1988. The Powerscourt Bridge continues to carry vehicular traffic. Though structurally deficient, the bridge's rural location has facilitated its preservation. In 1949, covered bridge historian Richard Sanders Allen identified the bridge as the only surviving example of a McCallum type truss, and brought it to the attention of local residents. When the provincial Ministere des Transports announced, in 1983, a plan to replace the bridge with a concrete structure, the community launched a campaign to save the aging landmark. In 1984, the Powerscourt Bridge was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The bridge was featured on a Canadian postage stamp in 2019.
Arbour, Gérald & Forest, Gaétan. List of Québec Bridges, 2006
National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. World Guide to Covered Bridges, 2009, page 186

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