Packard Hill Bridge – Lebanon, NH

The bridge is on a secondary road but still gets a lot of use. The road it’s on connects different parts of the town of Lebanon, NH, home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Commuter traffic in the area can get pretty dense for such a rural location.

This is another fairly modern and relatively large bridge built on a site that has had a bridge since the 1780s.  I’d made a photograph of this bridge before but was in the area and my skills are better now than they were back then. 

Between 1780 and 1790 an open timber bridge (no cover) was built at this location for Ichabod Packard. Mr. Packard had a house on the north side of the river and a combined saw and gristmill on the other side.

This bible was sitting on the railing of the bridge.

The records aren’t clear, but it looks like the first covered bridge was installed here in 1804.  It was replaced in 1878 with a Howe truss covered bridge built that cost $456.02.  The current design with the large diagonal supports is a Howe truss bridge. 

It was removed in 1952 and replaced with a Bailey Bridge, a temporary bridge designed and commonly used in WWII. The Bailey bridge was replaced by the current bridge in 1991.  It was built by Arnold Graton Associates for $316,500. They built the Packard Bridge in a manner which replicates the traditional style of covered bridges.

28 thoughts on “Packard Hill Bridge – Lebanon, NH

  1. Les

    There are many more Covered Bridges up in NH than down here. Here, there are only a few left as you saw on my Post. However, down in Lancaster County, there are more, but I don’t know where they are. I’d have to find out.

  2. Sandra

    You are really skilled at composing these shots in an appealing way Chris! I love the open structure of this. You can see the different colors in the wood grain beautifully! Nice work

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you, Sandra. This bridge is really beautiful. I had visited once before years ago, but it was a cold winter’s day and the photo I took did not do it justice.

  3. Sarah

    What a curious find, that Bible. Wonder who put it there and why? Also I’ve never seen a paperback bible – still quite heavy reading I imagine. 😉

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      People here will leave religous materials in spots for others to find in hopes of a conversion. It’s almost exclusively Christian. I have no idea if it works or just makes the leaver of it feel good.


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