The first bridge on this site was constructed in 1857 and was destroyed by a windstorm the next year. The builders, Amzi Russell and Leandre Morton, then contracted with the town to build a new bridge for $1,300 minus the amount they were previously paid for the original bridge.
An interpretive sign next to the bridge explains that covered bridges were built by judgment rather than exact engineering design. The builders tried to make them large enough in both height and width for a farm wagon filled with hay to pass.
This bridge has its own parking lot because it’s located adjacent to a popular parkway in White Mountain National Forest. Visitors can park and explore the river and the bridge.
A common problem with these old wooden bridges is that they will float away if the river rises sufficiently during floods. I noticed this set of connecting metal rods at either end of the bridge on the upstream side. They were clearly designed to anchor the bridge so that if the river does flood and lift the bridge, it can’t carry it off.
Because the bridge serves both the town and the tourists visiting White Mountain National Forest, the town and U.S. Forest Service have collaborated on its maintenance.