Mechanic Street Bridge – Lancaster, NH

Most of the bridges that I photographed were on side roads or out of the way places.  There were usually only a few homes nearby, if any.  The Mechanic Street Bridge is located in a busy residential neighborhood. 

The bridge spans Israel’s River.  The river provided water power for local mills.  As the mills and the town grew, a bridge built in the 1780s quickly became inadequate. 

This bridge was constructed in 1862 to replace the original bridge.  An interpretive plaque on the bridge said that this bridge allowed horses and carriages to cross at a faster speed, but the State’s history said that in that same year, the citizens voted to put signs on the bridge prohibiting driving across the bridge at a pace faster than a walk. So did people get to go faster on the new bridge, or not?

Covered Bridge Project Update

A hint at a future covered bridge.

Saturday, I finished photographing the last of the historic covered bridges listed in the State’s book. It was a long day that involved going to six covered bridges in three towns that were more spread out than usual. Five were ones that I had not previously photographed and one was a reshoot of my favorite bridge. (More on my favorite bridge in another post.) The last time I was in this area, I was in a t-shirt and shorts and kept my time in the sun short. On Saturday, I had on multiple layers and saw snow in some parts of the state at higher elevations.

I still need to finish editing and will show the final bridges over the next couple of weeks. I also plan to return to some of them in the future. There is at least one that I believe will be decorated with holiday lights in December. Early next spring, I plan to visit the ones in the Albany and Conway area where the rivers are filled with run off from the snow melting on the White Mountains.

Mt. Orne Bridge – Lancaster, NH and Lunenburg, VT

Back in the 1860s or 1870s, this area needed a bridge to connect the two towns.  An enterprising company called “The Union Bridge Company” built and operated it until 1908 when a log jam destroyed the bridge.  A ferry then operated for three years until a new bridge could be built.

The towns on either side of the “new” bridge each contributed $2,500 for the cost.  The state’s history says that another $1,678 was “raised by subscription”.  I’m not sure if that means people contributed to the bridge and if there was any additional benefit to them beside not having to use a ferry service.

In 1969, a truck loaded with highway salt fell through the floor of the bridge.  The rear of the truck rested on the ice and the front was caught on a piece of the bridge.  Meanwhile, salt spilled out of the truck, weakening the ice below.

They had to raise the truck to disengage it from the bridge and then lower it carefully onto the now weakened ice.  (How it avoided going to the bottom of the river, I’ll never know.)  It was dragged off the weak part of the ice, turned upright and then taken off the ice. 

In more recent times, it’s had difficulties (plural) when GPS directs truck drivers across it.  I included this image from The Caledonian Record website. 

R/V Tioga

I love exploring around Woods Hole. With the Oceanographic Institute and Marine Biology Lab sited in the village, there are all kinds of interesting boats and gadgets. The reseach vessel Tioga was tied up at the pier when I visited this summer. It’s not their biggest boat but she’s fast and used for research in coastal waters. She’s been used to collect water samples, deploy and recover different types of devices, and tag right whales with behavior-monitoring equipment.

Coombs Bridge – Winchester, NH

Years ago, I took photos of most of the bridges in the southwestern corner of the state.  Somehow this bridge had missed my attention before. 

On a cold late September morning, I put on a winter jacket and gloves for the drive west.  This bridge is only about an hour from our house.  When I arrived the cold air was causing steam to come off the river and the leaves on the hill behind the river were just beginning to turn colors.

There was not a lot on the history of the bridge.  It was named after the original builder and owner, Anthony Coombs. It’s difficult today to think of someone owning a bridge.  The state history of these bridges said the bridge aided in the “social and commercial development of the area”. The historical record was written nearly thirty years ago and describes the bridge as needing major repairs and that there was talk of bypassing it.  From the looks of it, I tend to think that it had been repaired at some point in the past twenty-five years.