On my way up north, I drove past this wood carving on a post at a crossroads. Next to it was the historic marker you see below. It’s a tribute to Metallak, a Native American who was the last of a band of Abnaki who lived in the area. He was a hunter, trapper, fisherman, and guide who reportedly died in 1847 at age 120 years.
A couple of weeks ago, I made the almost four-hour drive to the northernmost covered bridge in Pittsburgh, NH. It’s about six miles from the Canadian border. I had six bridges to try to photograph that day and planned to arrive at this bridge about a half-hour after sunrise. Unfortunately, everything north of the White Mountains was covered in ground fog. I enjoyed a nice breakfast at the Happy Corner Cafe while waiting for the fog to burn off a bit.
Happy Corner is a section of Pittsburgh. Though quiet now, it is described as having been a “bustling neighborhood” at the end of the 19th century. It boasted having a sawmill, a starch mill, a store with a post office, a barbershop, Temperance Hall, and the Danforth School.
The state’s history tells how this neighborhood got its name. An elderly gentleman lived at the crossroads in Happy Corner. He enjoyed singing and dancing and he owned a Victrola which he played frequently. ‘People congregated at his house generally had a “happy” time singing and dancing.’
It’s not unusual to see ATVs on the bridge or town roads. Since the papermill closed in northern New Hampshire, the local towns have tried to increase tourism by making themselves friendly to recreational vehicles. It was already a popular area for snowmobiles in winter.
The bridge was built in the mid-1800s. Before that, people used to ford Perry Stream just upstream from the bridge’s location where the water was shallow.
This bridge is unique because it houses a gift shop. The gift shop is basically a free-standing structure built inside of the bridge. There is also a bed-and-breakfast on the property for the true covered bridge aficionado. https://www.coveredbridgehouse.com/
The bridge was constructed in 1851. There was not much more on it’s history until 1939 when a modern bridge was built bypassing this bridge and causing it to be closed. The state history on covered bridges says that it was rebuilt but then was only used to store snow fences.
The bridge and adjoining land were sold in 1966. The new owner had the bridge repaired and then built the gift shop inside of it.
The current owners are Marc and Mary Ellen Frydman. They renovated the bridge in 1990. This included removing some of the decking because if you’re not going to drive cars over it, then the bridge doesn’t need the same level of construction.
When I pulled off the road to take some pictures at a scenic vista a few weeks ago, there was a truck parked nearby that was customized with railroad paraphernalia and the rack of horns that you see above.
I said hello and asked if the horns were real or ornamental. He assured me they were real and were all different types of train horns. I had the pleasure of meeting the Locomotive Train Addict and his grandson. We chatted for a few minutes while they had a bit of breakfast. He gave me a card with the link to his YouTube channel.
This bridge is also known as the Jackson Covered Bridge. The nickname “Honeymoon Bridge” comes from the tradition of lovers kissing under it for good luck according to an article in Wikipedia.
The residents of Jackson began debate in 1873 on whether to build a new bridge (as opposed to repairing existing ones) and if so where to locate it. A local dairy farmer and Civil War veteran Charles Austin Broughton and his son Frank were contracted to do the work. This was back in the day when people with carpentry skills built bridges vs. hiring engineering firms.
Mr. Broughton was a many of many skills though. He had been a sergeant in the 18th Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteers, Company E during the Civil War. In addition to being a dairy farmer, has was reportedly “a finish carpenter, an avid fiddler, and a skillful bear hunter”. For a time, he was also an agent for the Swift River Lumber Company.
According to Wikipedia, in 1899 the town of Jackson paid the Goodrich Falls Electric Company to illuminate the bridge.
We’ve changed out our yard displays to welcome the arrival of fall. It’s felt like fall the past few days with much cooler temperatures. We also made a new little wooden display, the truck below. The cargo can be changed with the season.
The story behind this image is that about three year ago, my friend James and I were driving up to the White Mountains for a winter hike. We were driving in Tamworth, NH and I saw the mountain above all covered in snow. It looked like the alps. We were running late and I opted to keep going to the trailhead. I regretted it ever since because the mountain is just so spectacular. And there is a perfect vantage point in Tamworth to take a photo. But the location is over two hours away and that’s a long way to go for a photo of a mountain. I passed by there a couple of weeks ago on my way to take photos of two covered bridges. I stopped to take a photo this time. I still want to return in winter.
The railing below is to the small bridge frome which I took this photograph. Isn’t it beautiful?
What makes this bridge unique is that it’s in a private campground. To access it, I drove to the campground and stopped at the little gatehouse. I explained to the woman that I just wanted to take photos of the bridge. She was very nice. She gave me a map and a tag for my car and off I went.
The guide says the bridge is named after Jim Cummings, “whose property it served”. Is this another case of a bridge built for a single person or family? The farm where Jim lived was called Turkey Jim’s Turkey Farm.
In 1964, flood water washed the bridge downstream. I’m guessing that somehow it remained intact because the history says it “was retrieved and set back on its abutments”. It is now only used by pedestrians and snowmobiles.