I love exploring around Woods Hole. With the Oceanographic Institute and Marine Biology Lab sited in the village, there are all kinds of interesting boats and gadgets. The reseach vessel Tioga was tied up at the pier when I visited this summer. It’s not their biggest boat but she’s fast and used for research in coastal waters. She’s been used to collect water samples, deploy and recover different types of devices, and tag right whales with behavior-monitoring equipment.
Years ago, I took photos of most of the bridges in the southwestern corner of the state. Somehow this bridge had missed my attention before.
On a cold late September morning, I put on a winter jacket and gloves for the drive west. This bridge is only about an hour from our house. When I arrived the cold air was causing steam to come off the river and the leaves on the hill behind the river were just beginning to turn colors.
There was not a lot on the history of the bridge. It was named after the original builder and owner, Anthony Coombs. It’s difficult today to think of someone owning a bridge. The state history of these bridges said the bridge aided in the “social and commercial development of the area”. The historical record was written nearly thirty years ago and describes the bridge as needing major repairs and that there was talk of bypassing it. From the looks of it, I tend to think that it had been repaired at some point in the past twenty-five years.
Steam rises off the Ashuelot River on a cold late September morning.
I made this image near our home last week. This lane leads to some hiking trails. I assume from the name that livestock were once driven down it to get water from the brook below.
This is the bridge I almost missed. When I planned these shoots, worked from a list in the state’s guide New Hampshire Covered Bridges. I obsessed over it and thought I had all of them but I missed this one. The ironic thing was that I obsessed over the list because I didn’t want to drive three hours to an area and later discover that I’d missed a bridge there. That was almost exactly my fate.
I was saved by the fact that this bridge is right next to the main route through the area, U.S. Route 3. I passed it on my way north to Pittsburg and then again on the way back. Something didn’t make sense, so I checked the list from my phone and found that this bridge was indeed on the list.
According to the state book on these bridges, “the bridge was built by Captain Charles Richardson and his son. When U.S. Route 3 was reconstructed in 1939, the Groveton covered bridge was bypassed.”
Groveton was one of the areas hard hit by the closing of paper mills in the North Country. Diamond International Papers was a long time employer in the area. The mill was sold in 2008 and then changed hands a number of times before closing. There was talk of an LNG plant being located there, as well as a biomass energy plant and selling the old mill for scrap. I’m not sure of the status of any of these plans.
The steam locomotive was used as a switch engine by another paper mill in the area, the Odell Manufacturing Company. It was last used in the mid-1960s. The community decorates it every year at Christmas.
I came away from my trip to New Hampshire’s Great North Woods with some photos of signs that I thought were worth sharing. The top one is no joke. Moose are huge and come out after sundown. You often don’t see them until you’re right on top of them. They are more dangerous to hit than deer because of their size and long skinny legs. If hit by a passengr car, they tend to fall on top of the hood and windshield. Bad news.
Up north, many commnites let ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles) use the public roads in town to get between their homes or lodging and ATV trails. ATV use is popular there and the area has tried to build it’s economy through ATV tourism.
This was next to a tiny fishing hole in a community in Pittsburg, NH. I assume that they stock the pond and let the little ones get a taste of angling.
During the 1940 and 50s, the bridge had some structural problems that required a lot of work. This is a fairly busy bridge and having it tied up with maintenance was not ideal. The townspeople voted to replace the bridge with a new steel bridge.
Well, this would not do. The bridge is a favorite of photographers and painters because of it’s positioning with the church next to it and the hills behind them. There was an outcry that resulted in the state coming in to help save the bridge.
The bridge was built in 1862. In the 1890s, flood waters washed out a pier in the center of the bridge and washed the entire bridge downstream. Teams of oxen were used to haul the bridge back and set it on new stone piers.
I photographed this fall planter last weekend outside the headquarters at some local conservation land.
My plan was to photograph this bridge first and then make my way north taking pictures of other bridges as I went. As you can see from the photo above, when I reached this bridge, the area was still very much covered in a thick fog. I took a few photos and then drove up to the northernmost bridge and worked my way back to this one.
This bridge has the distinction of being the most northerly Connecticut River bridge connecting Vermont and New Hampshire. The Connecticut River separates the two states but any bridges north of here are all in New Hampshire where the river originates from Lake Francis.
The Columbia Bridge was built in 1912. It replaced an earlier bridge which had been destroyed by fire in 1911. I find it interesting that it is only open on one side.
This image was made shortly after I came out of the White Mountains on my trip up to the north country.