Swiftwater Bridge – Bath, NH

One often sees these signs at covered bridges.

This bridge is named “Swiftwater” and it crosses the Wild Ammonoosuc River, but with this year’s drought, the water seems neither swift nor wild. 

The low water level shows the huge rocks that line the bottom of the river at the bridge.

While the water is low now, logs were once floated down this river to the sawmill.  Periodically, a log jam would develop which would threaten to destroy the bridge.  The State’s historical record on covered bridges reports states, “In one case, dynamite was used to break up a log jam and although the blast was successful, logs had to be removed from the roof of the bridge.”*

In the 19th century, four bridges were built at this location beginning in 1810.  The first two succumbed to floods.  The third lasted twenty years. It was dismantled and rebuilt in 1849.   

The next record of the bridge being rebuilt was in 1977, though I’m sure work was required on the bridge during those 128 years. 

* https://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/bridges/index.html

25 thoughts on “Swiftwater Bridge – Bath, NH

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      I want to make a spring trip to some of these bridges. Not ALL. This has been fun but a lot of work. I’d like to see what the river looks like when the water is higher.

      Reply
  1. loisajay

    That link showed some very interesting bridge names: Blow-Me-Down, Honeymoon and Turkey Jim’s sound rather fun! You have beautiful bridges near you–we have none.

    Reply
    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Yes, but Florida has other things that are wonderful and make it unique. Yes, I’ve been to all of those bridges. Turkey Jim’s will be coming up in a week or so.

      Reply
  2. Sandra

    These are beautiful pictures Chris! I love the stories you include! There’s a boyish innocence to the problem solving in those days, “let’s just float the logs down the river. When there’s a jam we’ll just blast the whole place with dynamite.” 😳

    Reply
  3. Lookoom

    I never get tired of seeing covered bridges. The images may seem repetitive, but the comments you make with them give them all their meaning. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you. I find some retitition but they are all unique. This one had all those rocks below it and the other two in the are had hydroelectric plants next to them. It makes it really interestg, much more so than I thought it would be when I started the project.

      Reply

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