THE BRIDGES OF GAYLORDSVILLE

by Alan Dodd

The first mention of a bridge in Gaylordsville was in 1803 and was used until 1845. The money for the bridge was raised by selling stock and this was a toll bridge. It was washed out in a spring flood. A higher covered bridge was built about 1855 and was used until 1875 when an early high spring flood took it away.

A higher pier and a new covered bridge lasted until the bridge was taken down when Route 7 was completed and it was replaced with a steel bridge. This was replaced in recent years with a modern cement bridge.

I wish we still had the old covered bridge, but it probably would have gone in the 1955 flood. The water was over the center pier of the old bridge which was standing at the time.

The stone posts at the entrance to Morningside Cemetery are stones from the center pier of the old covered bridge.

It is hard today to realize how important bridges were to people of that time. Towns were named for them, such as Cornwall Bridge. This bridge was lost during the hurricane of 1938.

During the 1800's a man in Pennsylvania thought that by putting a roof on a bridge and protecting the timber from the weather, the bridge would last forever. Because of his idea, we still have covered bridges. They are thought of as being typically New England. We have many, but I have crossed them in the south and in Canada.

We have only two left in Connecticut...Bulls Bridge and the West Cornwall bridge. They have been reinforced by the state to bear today's heavy traffic and should last forever.

 

Ó 1999 Alan Dodd