Edgell Bridge – Lyme, NH

The Edgell Bridge was built in 1885 for a cost of $1,825.27

The builder, Walter Piper, was only eighteen years old when he constructed this bridge.  While times were certainly different back then, I still think this is a remarkable feat for such a young man. 

It was assembled on the town common and then moved by oxcart to the planned location. If I recall the location of the bridge correctly, this was a considerable distance. 

In 1936, flood waters washed it off its northern abutment. It was moved back, and tied down with cables.  This seems to be a common problem, especially in the mountains where snow melt causes the rivers to rise substantially. 

29 thoughts on “Edgell Bridge – Lyme, NH

  1. Liz Gauffreau

    I would not have guessed that this bridge was built by an eighteen-year-old! I’ll bet the people of the town gathered in the common to watch the progress of the construction.

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    I enjoy all the history you give us with these bridges. And to think an 18 year old built this! Thank you for your research and the beautiful captures.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    Reply
  3. Sandra

    I might have been able to construct a sturdy bridge out of legos when I was 18 (think Stonehenge: Spinal Tap). This story is so impressive, and well photographed! At 2K I wonder if the builder constructed others or retired.I wasn’t able to find much info on Tasker at all, btw. What a different age that was. Everyone is an open book now thanks to Wikipedia. Great post Chris! Thank you

    Reply
    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Ha ha ha. Yes, I could build a lot of things with LEGOS too. It’s amazing to think someone so young could build a bridge. Thank you for looking for information on our mystery man, James Tasker. Perhaps not knowing about him makes him more of a legend.

      Reply
  4. Footprints

    I love the story of such a young man building something so great. I am sure this was a big asset for the community back then. And of course seeing those wooded pegs…fascinating to see how things were built long ago. Another great story!

    Reply
    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you, Andi. I sort of have this mental image of this man being the son of a carpenter and learning his trade growing up. But that’s just my guess. I like how you frame this as being a community asset. It’s good to think of things as what helps the community. Have a great day.

      Reply

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