Taftsville Covered Bridge

One thing we like to do while out exploring is finding covered bridges. While we were in Vermont we decided to see if there were any covered bridges in the area. We hit the jackpot. One quick search of Vermont-covered bridges and we had ourselves a list!!!

We were staying at the KOA in Quechee, Vermont, and decided we would set up a day just to visit some of these covered bridges. One of those bridges was the Taftsville Covered Bridge.

How Is It Built?

The method of construction of this bridge is called timber framing. Timber framing is a method of construction that uses a thicker/heavier timber (wood) than the conventional sizes used in most construction.

The wood is cut so that it fits together somewhat like a puzzle and then held in place by wooden pegs. It is also fastened by other types of joints which makes this a pretty solid type structure.

The town of Taftsville was a milling town. As it grew the need for a bridge became evident. The original bridge was built around 1800. In 1807 it was washed away in a flood.

It was quickly rebuilt but that one too was washed away by a flood in 1811. The bridge was a necessity so it was rebuilt a third time. I’ll give you 3 guesses what happened to that one. You got it!!! It was washed away by another flood in 1828.

3 Washouts Were Enough!!!

After 3 wash outs it was clear that something else needed to be done. One of the local townspeople named Solomon Emmons III was hired to construct a different type of bridge that would not keep getting washed away every few years.

The bridge he constructed was completed in 1836. It is the the same bridge you see standing today with one exception. The bridge was damaged by hurricane Irene in 2011. It took 2 years to complete the repairs and was re-opened in 2013.

You can read more about the bridge, it’s history and it’s construction on Wikipedia.

The Bridge Spans The Ottauquechee River

It is among the oldest remaining covered bridges both in Vermont and the nation as a whole. It is the oldest covered bridge in Windsor County and the third oldest in the state. It is the second-longest covered bridge in Vermont spanning 189 feet.

From side to side (outside measurements) it sits about 20 feet giving it an interior width (roadway) of about 16 feet.

This bridge is located in Woodstock and can be accessed by taking US-4 to Happy Valley Rd to Covered Bridge Rd from the west. If you are coming from the east, take Quechee Main St to Covered Bridge Rd.

Taftsville Bridge Roof Sign

Final Thoughts

We love to visit covered bridges. Each one has it’s own history and personality. This bridge has been through a bunch of floods and even a hurricane and still stands.

If you are near Woodstock Vermont and decide to visit this bridge you will not be disappointed. There are a few places on either side of the bridge to park but parking is limited. You can’t miss this one either. It’s candy apple red!!!

Woodstock, VT
Date of Visit: July 2015

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