poetry and prose about place

a walk through the covered bridge – Falls Brook Covered Bridge, Falls Brook on the Nackawic River

with 5 comments

On May 16, 1992, we visited the Falls Brook Covered Bridge in York County as part of our project on covered bridges for Canada’s 125th anniversary.  The Falls Brook Covered Bridge, on the Nackawic Siding Road at Nortondale, is also known as the Nackawic Siding Covered Bride, and is formally known as Nackawic River #5.  This means that there used to be at least four other covered bridges crossing the Nackawic River or its tributaries, but they have been lost for various reasons.

This past weekend, we visited the Falls Brook bridge again, to see if it is still there.  The sign at the end of the road was hopeful, indicating a covered bridge could be found on the road.  Most of New Brunswick’s covered bridges are marked by these signs.

My notes from 1992 said the road to the bridge was in poor shape – ‘spooky but very pretty and other-worldly’ was what I wrote.  The road has deteriorated over the years to become a narrow track with deep potholes and large outcroppings of rock.

The bridge was still there, tucked in among fir and maple woods.  It had been renovated within the last couple of years, based on the presence of some new large timbers and completely new wood siding.

The Falls Brook Covered Bridge was built in 1927.  It is 63′ long, with a span of 60′.  It is 14′ 10″ wide and has a maximum load of 8 T.  The height clearance is 4.0 m.  The architecture of the bridge is amazing, showing brace and beam construction with various hardwood joinery.

Unfortunately, the renovations have removed many of the markings we noted in 1992.  At that time, the oldest dates were a carved ‘1885’ and, in black ink, ‘Ptarmigan hunter Ray Brown May 12th 1896 Horse had bad leg’.  I have asked a well-informed birder about this and he told me there are no other records of ptarmigan in New Brunswick.   Other carvings we noted in 1992 included: ‘M.A.K.’, ‘WDH’, ‘Colin + BrenDa’, ‘Could be fishin’ ‘ , ‘D C ‘ and ‘TOGETHER AGANE Betty and Johnathan’.

The markings from the 1800s were gone, but ‘D.C.’ was still there, as well as some interesting new markings.

Some show that height is no barrier to leaving your name!

If you have covered bridges in your area, take note of the markings people have left behind!  Your record may be all that survives!


Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

September 10, 2012 at 9:03 am

5 Responses

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  1. I love that you’ve kept such great records about the markings and even the roads leading to the bridges.



    September 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

  2. That does look like complicated construction. Amazing how they sense where the stresses will be.



    September 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    • Hi. Most of this engineering was done almost one hundred years ago. I know there is a lot of math involved. There is beauty as well as strength in all those angles. Jane


      jane tims

      September 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

  3. awesom a peice of history and a nice bridge to boot. what more can you ask for? when I lived near a graveyard, I used to walk on it’s paths and look at names of people I don’t know and wonder what their life was like, who they were, what aspirations did they have that death stole etc. really cool/sad at the same time.



    September 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    • Hi. People usually don’t leave much behind, even for family. Thanks for visiting, Rose. Jane


      jane tims

      September 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

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