Covered Bridges in New York: Unique and Rare

By | March 8, 2021

Many unique pieces of history and popular and celebrated, but some of them remain a rarity. Like in the case of the covered Bridges in New York. Read more about them below!

Buskirk Covered Bridge

The Buskirk Covered Bridge connects Rensselaer and Washington counties and is one of the oldest covered bridges in New York State. Washington County still has four covered bridges, and it is the only covered bridge in the United States with a roof over its entire length.

Patented in 1840 and improved in 1850 by William Howe of Springfield, Massachusetts, the Howe truss design was incorporated into the Buskirk Covered Bridge, the first of three covered bridges in Washington County, built in 1857. The bridge is registered in both the State and National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest covered bridge constructions in New York State.

Burr’s Arch

The truss structure of Burr’s Arch shows the first use of the Howe truss design in the state of New York. The original 1825 structure makes it the oldest existing covered bridge in the state and the second oldest in Washington County.

The hotel is located 4.5 miles south of RT and Glimmerglass State Park is located about two miles north of the bridge at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 2. Built in 1857 and roofed in 1858, this 175-foot-long, single-track structure was built in Howe’s timber-framed style. It is the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States and one of only a handful of half-timbered bridges in New York.

In 1997 it was removed, reinhabited and returned to its place at the sable in 2007 and removed again in 2010 to build a new bridge over the Hudson River at the same location.

In the early 20th century, the New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) built a new bridge over the Hudson River on the same site, but it was never fully completed.

Shushan Bridge

The 119-metre-wide bridge, built in 1912 and fitted with the city’s timber-framed design, is the only surviving symbol of the area’s early settlers, led by Quaker preacher John Hall. The bridge is covered and built with six supporting pillars on a wooden base.

The Shushan Bridge is one of four covered bridges still standing in Washington County and the only one owned and maintained by the City of Shushan. It crosses Batten Kill and serves as a museum for the cities of Shushan and as a major tourist attraction for visitors to the area.

Batten Kill

In the spring and summer of 1858, brothers Milton and James Stevens built a bridge over Batten Kill in Shushan, Washington County, New York, the first indoor bridge in the country.

The bridge trusses were erected, laid and assembled on the village square next to the railway depot, then pulled from the bridge construction site by oxen and then erected on a new central pier on the east side of Batten Kill. In May 1974 John Rich and Carleton Foster founded the Shushan Covered Bridge Association, comprising most of the residents of Shshan. The volunteer group bought the bridge from Washington County for $1, built new centers and pillars, installed new roofs and reinstalled the new roof. It contained a timber-framed design patented by the city of New Haven, Connecticut, on January 28, 1820, starting in 1835.

Today, the bridge, which was largely donated by Shushan’s farmers, serves as an important link between Shshan City and Batten Kill Village, about 30 miles west.

The meaning of these bridges

Historic covered bridges are defined as bridges that show an authentic half-timbered structure that carries a bridge in its original form and is over 50 years old. The state of New York has 21 historic covered bridges, and currently has 32 within its borders.

Authentic roofed ridges are defined as bridges that show authentic timber framed structures that support the bridge in its original form. The state of New York has eight authentic covered bridges within its borders and currently has 22 within the state’s borders.

The remaining three roofed bridges are classified as historical strands and the original truss girders carry the bridge as originally planned. The historical bridge piers classify these as historical bridges, but not the actual bridge structure.

The New York State Covered Bridge Society

The New York State Covered Bridge Society, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, was founded to preserve, protect and promote New Yorkers “love of covered bridges and their history. Since its inception, the society has helped restore many covered bridges in our state and throughout the country. The work of the association is made possible by membership fees and the generosity of others.

The meetings are held at the New York State Covered Bridge Society’s headquarters in Albany, NY, and the website regularly reviews our website for updated data and locations.

The covered bridge over Fox Creek is actually a 150 m long concrete arch bed and is located at the mouth of Fox Creek, on the east side of the river, north of New York City. The covered part of this bridge resembles a half-timbered structure, and the concrete arches are about 150 m long.

This bridge, which crosses Fox Creek and is closed to traffic, was designed the New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Bow Bridge is not covered but is non the less unique!

Have these places in mind for Women’s History Month!

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