poetry and prose about place

a covered bridge – the Burpee Bridge, Queens County, New Brunswick

with 2 comments

Last weekend, driving home from Miramichi, we followed the Grand Lake Road.  It is mostly unpopulated, devoted to tree plantations and a preservation site for mature white pine.


Along the way, we stopped in at the Burpee Covered Bridge on the Gaspereau River near Gaspereau Forks, Queens County.  This bridge is listed as Gaspereau River #2 in the April 1992 pamphlet ’Covered Bridges in New Brunswick’ (no author indicated).   This means there was once another covered bridge crossing the Gaspereau River but it is now gone.




The Burpee Bridge was built in 1913.  It is 167′ 9″ long with a span of  163′ 6″.   The roadway width is 14′ 8″, and the load limit is 8 t.   The maximum clearance is 3.9 meters.

The bridge is on a main road and the grounds on both sides of the river are nicely kept and mowed.  The bridge was named for the family living nearby in 1913.

Inside the bridge, there is a window, with a good view of the Gaspereau River, showing the exposed bedrock of the river banks.




The rafters of the bridge are populated with swallows and their nests.  The swallows chirped at me and swooped in and out of the bridge while I was there.


I couldn’t find any carvings in the failing light, but the inside of the bridge is covered in graffiti.




A lot of fluorescent paint has been used and it would be interesting to shine a black light inside the bridge … no doubt it would glow with spooky color …




We didn’t visit this bridge in 1992 as part of our Covered Bridge Project for Canada’s 125th anniversary.  I am sorry we didn’t do more bridges that year … some are now gone, and it is interesting to compare the information for those that have survived.


This year, on July 27, the community plans a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Burpee Bridge.  The bridge will be turned (temporarily) into a museum of photos and artifacts about the bridge and community.  Keeping our covered bridges in the eye of the community helps to preserve their heritage and value.  It also encourages sharing of the wonderful stories about the part these bridges have played in our communities and lives.


Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. A picturesque covered bridge – a bit of living history. I hope you get to attend the celebration on the 27th!


    Barbara Rodgers

    July 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    • Hi Barbara. I hope we can go too. I like community celebrations, even if we aren’t ‘local’. I’d like to learn some of the history of the bridge. Jane


      jane tims

      July 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm

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