written by bruce irving icon
COVERED IN CONTRADICTIONS • Though historic covered bridges have been
swept away by raging floodwaters, those that remain stand strong
PHOTOGRAPH BY PHIL SCHERMEISTER
AMID THE TELEVISION FOOTAGE OF the aftermath of Hurricane Irene’s dev- astation was the stunning video of the Bartonsville covered bridge in Vermont being washed away by floodwaters. The bridge represented 141 years of
irreplaceable history and was one more blow to the
dwindling number of what has long been a nostalgic
symbol of life in rural New England.
the 460 foot Cornish-Windsor bridge spans the
Connecticut River, connecting New Hampshire and
Vermont. It was surpassed as
the longest covered bridge in
the country when Ohio’s
613-foot Smolen-Gulf Bridge
opened in 2008.