Bath Bridge – Bath, NH

One long bridge!

Also known as the Kissin’ Bridge, this is one long bridge.  A plaque says it is the longest in New Hampshire at 375 feet.  That’s technically true but the bridge between Cornish, NH and Windsor VT (at 449 feet) is the longest in the US but not truly all in New Hampshire. 

The requirement to turn your lights on is unusual but with the sides mostly covered and the length of the bridge, it’s a valid request.

There has been a bridge here since 1794 when you could build a bridge for $366.66.  The first three bridges were destroyed by floods.  The fourth was destroyed by a fire. (Note: That’s the third bridge I’ve toured that has been destroyed by fire.) This bridge was built in 1831-1832 and included stone abutments and piers.  

It’s difficult to show the two levels of arches inside the bridge. The upper one is very prominent.

When you enter the bridge and look at the construction, it has arches upon arches.  I don’t really quite understand the engineering but in 1920 the bridge was raised to pass over the railroad and a second set of overlapping arches were added. 

This was the first bridge that I’ve visited that was at the site of a hydroelectric dam.  The state gets about 4% of it’s power from hydroelectric plants but I never see many dams.  At the base of the White Mountains, this is the perfect place to build a dam and power plant. 

The State’s historical record on covered bridges reports that, “at one time, there was a sign posted at the bridge which prohibited riding horses across the bridge at a trot. It was believed that the impact of trotting horses could cause the structure to fall apart.”  *

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26 thoughts on “Bath Bridge – Bath, NH

  1. China Dream

    Does it actually get that much traffic? Is there another Kissing bridge somewhere, I seem to recall seeing a sign for such a bridge, mind you, I could have been in NH at the time.. Brain is still a few steps behind.. need coffee.

  2. Ashley

    My wife was reading this post ‘over my shoulder’ and remarks that she has loved covered bridges ever since she saw a dramatisation of Anne of Green Gables! Great post Chris!

  3. GP Cox

    You certainly know how to hit my soft spots. I’ve always loved covered wooden bridges since I was a kid. To me they are one of our last symbols of true Americana.

  4. photobyjohnbo

    So in those days, engineers were aware of harmonic vibrations thought to be from the frequency of hoof fall. A quick Google search found that in 1831 troops marching in step across a suspension bridge in England matched the bridge’s natural harmonic frequency. It broke apart and soldiers were dumped into the water. That generated the concept of soldiers “breaking stride” so that there is no chance that the cadence could match the frequency of the bridge’s natural harmonics.

  5. Sandra

    I like the comment above about making a book! A handsome coffee table hard cover edition! You have all the research and the gorgeous photos. But I understand it would be a next level type of project I’d imagine. Thank you so much for sharing this series so generously! We made it to the end of the week! Take good care Chris!

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you so much, Sandra. I will make calendars for 2021 for Christmas gifts using these images but a book is just a much larger project. I’ve really enjoyed making the series and sharing it here. Today I did the six northern most bridges. I was so far north that I saw frost and signs for the Canadian border.

      1. Sandra

        Wow! Imagining frost right now seems almost unreal given all the heat and smoke. So happy to hear there are signs of cooler weather on the way.

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      OMG Thank you so much, Arati. That was awesome. None of our covered bridges are that high. I would walk the bridge but no way would I ride a bike or motorbike on it. No way. Thank you so much.


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