The Sulphite Covered Bridge – Franklin, NH

This was the fourth and final bridge for my first outing, and it may be the most unusual of the whole series.  It’s a railroad bridge called the Sulphite Covered Bridge because of the sulfur hauled over these tracks for the paper mills.  People refer to it as “the upside-down bridge”.  It meets (or met) the criteria for a covered bridge.  The structure of the bridge was built over the Winnipesaukee River and then covered with a wood structure.  The catch is that the train did not pass under the covering. The covering sat directly on the superstructure of the bridge and the rails were laid on top of the covering.  The one historical photograph that I could find is below but the image is tiny. 

It was a tricky bridge to make the photo.  I parked in the town center on a warm, humid morning and hiked up the path to the bridge.  It was only a quarter mile but was steep and felt further.  When I reached the bridge, it was surrounded by forest.  I found a path down to the river’s edge.  Despite the heat, having long pants was helpful because the brush was pretty thick.  I made one exposure; then made way back up through the brush and back down to my car.

The bridge was built by the Bridge and Building Department of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1896.  It’s the only remaining deck-covered railroad bridge in the United States. Train traffic stopped in 1973 and a fire in 1980 destroyed the wooden portion of the bridge.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

39 thoughts on “The Sulphite Covered Bridge – Franklin, NH

  1. photobyjohnbo

    I am now following two bloggers who appreciate and are photographing bridges. Over the years, I have found a few historic bridges to feature in my posts as well, but your recent posts have enticed me to include more historic bridges in our travels. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Garfield Hug

    This is really magnificent. Love both colored and monochrome versions. I love the ruggedness of the bridge. You have alot of great bridges that have survived over time. I guess the masonry work and builders did a great job or it is very well maintained.

  3. Sandra

    Wow! Another stunner. What a great find! So unusual and I appreciate the historical picture for reference. Nice addition to the series Chris!

  4. Sarah

    I love little architectural treasures and oddities like this bridge! And reading about how you had to tackle the underbrush to make this shot adds a very nice touch of adventure to your story. 😀


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