Help Save the Pier
Covered Railroad Bridge in Newport, NH
with sales of Replicate:
The Rebuilding of the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, New
1993, arsonists destroyed the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, N.H.. The 157-year-old one lane span
was the towns 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 OGrady 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.
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
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.
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 nations 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. P.O.
Box 413, Newport, N.H. 03773
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
WEB PAGE ADDRESS: http://www.iserv.net/~wmogrady/corbin.html