Help Save the Pier Covered Railroad Bridge in Newport, NH

with sales of Replicate:

The Rebuilding of the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, New Hampshire


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In 1993, arsonists destroyed the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, N.H.. The 157-year-old one lane span was the town’s last highway covered bridge, but two covered railroad bridges, built in the early 1900s, still stand  and both are in need of repair.   After the Corbin bridge was burned, a small but dedicated group of residents vowed to rebuild a bridge replicating their lost treasure. Using a combination of insurance proceeds and  fund raising, they succeeded beyond expectations and in January 1995, the Corbin Covered Bridge opened to traffic.
Their story of determination in the face of opposition from local and state government and plenty of naysayer is told in narrative style by Patrick O’Grady in Replicate: The Rebuilding of the
Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, N.H.

On May 25, 1993 residents of Newport, New Hampshire were shocked and angered. A day later they turned that outrage into determination. "Replicate" is their story. Upon a pile of charred timbers a small group of neighbors and friends conceived a dream to rebuild their town's last covered highway bridge; a dream that would not die. They had no knowledge of covered bridges and knew less about the workings of local and state government. However, they knew from the start what their goal was and they never lost sight of it. They learned fast and almost immediately knew how important another covered bridge was to their community. What they did not know was the staunch opposition they would face from local and state government agencies. "Replicate" is an interesting and engaging story of how the "bridge people" stayed one step ahead of the bureaucrats at every turn, until the opponents finally gave in.  Then the focus turned to building a bridge and raising money. Both came together beautifully.

Today, Newport is again hoping to raise money to save one of its historical treasures, the 217-foot Pier Covered Railroad Bridge. It is the longest covered railroad bridge in the world and one of only eight covered railroad bridges left in the United States.   Net proceeds from the sale of Replicate will go toward fundraising for the Pier Bridge.  The Towne lattice Pier bridge was built in 1906/07, replacing a wooden lattice bridge built in 1872 by the Sugar River Railroad. At one time there were 14 covered railroad bridges on the Claremont and Concord Railway crossing the Sugar River as it snakes its way from Lake Sunapee west through Sunapee, Newport and Claremont, to the Connecticut River, a distance of more than 20 miles. These massive structures were built to carry locomotives weighing 44 tons. Today, the remaining two bridges, Pier, and nearby Wright Covered Railroad Bridge, are part of the 10 mile Sugar River Rail Trail used by walkers, joggers, hikers, bicyclists, four-wheelers, snowmobilers, cross country skiers and others.

The bridge is owned by the state of New Hampshire and receives routine maintenance from the state Department of Resources and Economic Development but much more needs to be done to preserve this valuable piece of our nation’s history.  The state has committed $400,000 for improvements to the bridge but before the money is released, Newport must raise $100,000 by July 2007. The money will be used primarily for a fire suppression system and also roof repairs, replacement of sideboards and repairs to the floorboards. 
Net proceeds from the sale of Replicate: The Rebuilding of the
Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, N.H.,  will go toward the Pier Bridge Project. For more information, contact the Newport Historical Society at P.O. Box 413, Newport, N.H. 03773. 

Information on the Corbin Covered Bridge and the book. Ordering the book. Links to other covered bridge sites.
Add Me! Net proceeds from the sale of Replicate:   will go toward the Pier Bridge Projec  

Send check or money order for $15 plus $1.75 for shipping to:
The Newport Historical Society, P.O. Box 413, Newport, N.H. 03773
Kathy Butcher, Pier Bridge Committee Chairman (603-863-8588), 49 Myrtle St, Newport NH 03773
Jackie Cote, Fundraising Committee Chairman (603-863-3105), 8 Kyle Drive, Newport NH 03773