poetry and prose about place

a walk through the covered bridge – Bell Bridge, South Branch of the Oromocto River

with 4 comments

Another covered bridge crossing the South Branch of the Oromocto River is the Bell Bridge near Juvenile Settlement, Sunbury County (listed as South Oromocto Rover #3 in the April 1992 pamphlet ‘Covered Bridges in New Brunswick’, no author indicated).  This bridge was built in 1931.  It is 126′ 4″ long with a span of 123′ 4″.  The roadway width is 15′ 5″, and the load limit is 10 t (6 t for double axle vehicles).   The maximum clearance is 3.7 meters and a metal height barrier has been installed to ensure trucks exceeding the clearance cannot proceed through the bridge since this can do significant damage to the bridge structure.

The water at this point in the river is shallow and clear.  I watched for a long time to see a fish, but they will be hiding in the cooler waters of the deeper pools.

We visited this bridge on April 26, 1992 as part of our Covered Bridge Project for Canada’s 125th anniversary.

In 1992, we found many carved initials inside the bridge, on the various timbers.  The oldest date we found was ‘April 3, 1932’.  Some of the other initials included ‘LYL May 1, 1932′, RPC [perhaps PRC] June 6 /32’, ‘RS ’77 ‘, ‘ RT MAY 49’, ‘RM AUG 38’, ‘EK’, and ‘AE Mc APR 3/32’.  We also found the initials ‘A.K.O.G. APPI 35.’ with the ‘O’ written as a diamond.

On our August drive, I noticed two unrecorded inscriptions: ‘ALIE 69’ and  ‘M.O. L R.A.’

I also found a large carved ‘S’, very hard to see…

the ‘S’ is hard to see, just above the knot and about three times the length

Do you suppose ‘M.O.’ still loves ‘R.A.’ ?





we carve our initials

in the beams of the covered bridge

pledge our love to endure


but these words may

outlast the love

even the people



Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

4 Responses

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  1. I’m a romantic at heart so I do hope M.O. still loves R.A. 🙂



    September 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

  2. I get that same sense when I pass homes I once lived in. The stone walls will still be there long after I’ve passed away. Since I’ve lost many homes in the past I’ve developed the sense of a pilgrim… Your bridges are a nice image… passing over under the protection of someone’s forethought.



    September 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    • Hi. When I think of the distant future, I like to think that when all the wood and materials have rotted away, there will still be a neat line of stones where our stove used to be (I keep a line of stones on display from the trips we’ve been on!) Who knows!!!??? Jane


      jane tims

      September 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

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