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.
I left Blair Bridge and traveled less than ten minutes to Bump Bridge. While Blaire bridge was on a busy road, the road to the second bridge was much more rural. As I drove, I wondered how it got its name. Was there a rather large bump in it or near it?
Once at the bridge, I could see how it got its name; it’s on Bumps Intervale Road. As I left my car, I could hear either a pack of coyotes howling away or a kennel of dogs howling for their breakfast. All I knew was that it was loud and rather close. I was hoping it was the kennel and not the coyotes. Eventually it died down. Whether it was coyotes or a kennel, they got what they wanted.
This bridge was much shorter than the first one I visited. It was 68 feet long not including the ramps leading to it on either side. It’s a pretty bridge in a nice location. There’s been a covered bridge on this spot on the Beebe River since 1877. This one was last built in 1972 after the previous bridge rotted out. Unlike many rebuilt bridges, Bump Bridge uses wooden timbers for support rather than stone abutments. I prefer the top picture because with all of the trees high up in the background, it looks like it’s way up in the hills.
Earlier in the week when I was chatting with my friend Anna, the topic of his bridge came up. She thought back to the movie Blair Witch Project and said it sounded spooky. I scoffed at this but perhaps there is something to it. The first covered bridge was built in 1829. It was torched by an arsonist who claimed that god had told him to do it. Then in 2011, a later version of the bridge was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The bridge reopened in 2015 and I hoped that I could manage to get through my shoots today without any bad luck myself.
I counted and before beginning my official quest to photograph all 54 of New Hampshire’s historic covered bridges, I had only photographed twelve. And these twelve were the low hanging fruit. I’d taken their pictures when I was on travels for work or other things. Somehow, my boss never seemed to notice when I detoured a bit to shoot a photo of a covered bridge.
With forty-two bridges left, I decided to try to get four in a day. All four are within a half an hour’s drive of one another in the central part of the state between the Lakes Region and the White Mountains. Sunday, I got up and out the door by 4:30 AM to head off to the Blair Bridge in Campton, NH about an hour and a half away. I like the strategy of going to the furthest bridge first and then working backwards so that the drive home seems a bit shorter. Unfortunately, this meant the drive there felt long especially after not driving all that far for three months due to coronavirus.
I arrived there just after 6:00 AM. The bridge sits on a rather calm and shallow section of the Pemigewasset River. The bridge is 292 feet long and 20 feet wide. The odd thing about the bridge is that it’s on a road connecting the highway to a state road. Like most covered bridges, there is only one lane. If a car is coming through the bridge, you have to wait for it to come through before going ahead. It’s a busy road for a covered bridge but it must work for them to continue the tradition of having a covered bridge on this site.