Covered Bridges first appeared in the U.S. around 1805, but the history of these monuments to another age date back thousands of years to China. Covered bridges had also existed in Europe since medieval times and there were once hundreds of them in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
But its here in the Northeastern U.S., where wooden covered bridge design and construction reached its pinnacle in the nineteenth century. A combination of pressing need, plentiful old growth northern forests, and sheer Yankee ingenuity, advanced the development of wooden covered bridges to a rare combination of marvelous engineering feats that were also pleasing to the eye.
WHY SO MANY COVERED BRIDGES IN THE NORTHEAST?
The northeast is a region of rivers, streams and creeks. As the population surged out away from coastal areas into the forested interior, villages sprung up near water sources. The water source was used to power mills in these towns, and villages often developed on both banks of a stream or river. Bridges were the obvious answer to connect these divided communities, and provide access for townsfolk to things like school, worship, and supplies.