Bridges for kissing and civic life

   Plank-lattice truss  interior structure of Green River Bridge in Guilford, Vt.

Plank-lattice truss interior structure of Green River Bridge in Guilford, Vt.

“They were called kissing bridges, and indeed many’s the kiss that was stolen in the darkened interiors of covered bridges. But covered bridges were more than convenient trysting spots for couples passing through in one-horse shays. They represented a triumph of local craftsmanship – and a surge of the spirit. {The late author} and artist Eric Sloane says that the covered bridge was to the nineteenth century what the barn was to the eighteenth. In the sense the covered bridge reflected the impulse to forge rivers, shift roots, and expand horizons, he is correct. But the covered bridge was also an expression of community, an eagerness to be closer to the folks “on the other side.’’ It is not surprising, therefore, that the covered bridge was often a meeting place for groups of citizens.’’

-- From the late John Deedy, in his essay in Arthur Griffin’s New England: The Four Seasons.

Editor’s note: A couple of years ago my wife and I attended a wedding in a New Hampshire covered bridge. It was musty.

  Covered bridge in Newport, N.H.

Covered bridge in Newport, N.H.