Documenting North America's past & present covered bridges


Little, Lamoille County

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Inventory Number: VT/45-08-04x
County: Lamoille County
Township: Cambridge
Bridge Name: Little
Crosses: Seymour River
Truss type:
Spans: 1
Length: 60'
Roadway Width:
Builder: Goerge Washington Holmes
When Lost: Jul 1897
Latitude: N44 38.80
Longitude: W072 52.41
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Topographic map of the area
Directions: On VT15.
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Private, moved 1951. Also referred to as the bridge at Riverside Park. It was called the "Little Bridge" because of its proximity to the much larger double-barrel bridge over the Lamoille River before that one was moved to the Shelburne Museum. Per The Burlington Free Press, July 15, 1897, "The Lamoille valley was under ten feet of water, ruining all the grass and growing crops. A later dispatch says the covered bridge over the Seymour river at Cambridge floated out into the Lamoille and went down the stream." Per The Cambridge Transcript, August 6, 1897, "At the special town meeting last Saturday it was voted to instruct the selectmen to move the so-called 'Rogers' bridge to the site of the bridge carried away near Nelson Safford's, to move the arch bridge that now stands on N. B. Lapoint's meadow to the site of the "Rogers" bridge, and to put in a new, substantial covered wood bridge over Seymour river between the 'Boro' and 'Brooklyn.'" Brooklyn was apparently the nickname for the small village across the Lamoille River from Cambridge and the new covered bridge corresponds with the build date for VT-08-04. On October 6th, the Burlington Free Press reported that “Under the efficient management of George W. Holmes, the covered bridge over the Seymour river is progressing rapidly.” Per The Cambridge Transcript, February 4, 1898, "The woodwork part of the new covered bridge over Seymour river between the 'Boro' and 'Brooklyn' cost the town $630. This includes all the material and work on the bridge above the abutment." During the 1927 flood, the second bridge was lifted off its abutments and floated 20' downstream where trees along the bank prevented it from traveling farther. It was put back on its abutments and remained in service until a realignment of VT15 and the Seymour River in 1950. The realignment of the river eliminated the need for a bridge at this location. However, it also cut off access to the Gates Farm. To resolve this, the bridge was relocated to the farm access road. It was originally constructed with a covered walkway that was removed when it was relocated. The bridge deteriorated over the years at its new site on a flood plain due in part to the frequent inundations and a lack of maintenance. In 1994 it was in need of major structural repairs. In the fall of 1994 the bridge was removed from its abutments and disassembled. In 1995 the bridge was renovated, raising the trusses eighteen inches but leaving the floor in its original location by suspending floor beams from the lower chord with steel rods, required to allow farm machinery to pass through the bridge. In 1997, after a flood severely damaged the north upstream corner of the structure, a steel I-beam, tied to the floor beam below and extending out the portals onto the roadway, was installed above the floor along the inside of the truss on the upstream side. In 2002 the bridge was rebuilt at a cost of $170,000.00. The restoration included removing the I-beam installed in 1997, salvaging the entire roof, including the roof beams and gable boarding, salvaging the upstream siding, including the weather panel boarding inside the entrance. That work was done by Blow and Cote of Morrisville, Vermont. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1974.
The Burlington Free Press, July 15, 1897.

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