nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

on my bookshelf – Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada by Lyn and Richard Harrington

with 5 comments


Thanks to a friend, I have added a gem to my small collection of covered bridge books! Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada, published in 1976, gives a glimpse of days when there were over a hundred covered bridges still standing in New Brunswick.

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Scan0027

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Harrington, Lyn and Richard Harrington. Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1976.

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Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada includes black and white photos (and two in colour) of many of the covered bridges of the time, including one of the Southwest Otnabog Covered Bridge on Base Gagetown.

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These photos provide a glimpse into history: the types of signage used, the vintage cars, and the land uses in the vicinity of the bridge. Photos show the stacking of wooden lobster traps and log drives on the river. From the days when the bridges were used for private notices, there are photos of a circus poster and a painted eye glass advertisement.

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The book also includes written information on the history of covered bridges, bridge construction, enemies of the covered bridge and hopes for the future. The text covers topics such as traditions and superstitions, sources of bridge names, and anecdotes. I like the detailed story of the creation of the picnic park beside the Patrick Owens Bridge in Rusagonis.

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The Chapter ‘Hope for the Future’ is informative and somewhat sad. In the 1970s The League for Rural Renewal was seen by the author as the cornerstone for covered bridge protection and appreciation.

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Since the book was published, we have lost over forty covered bridges. On the positive side, appreciation for rural landscape is still alive in New Brunswick, evidenced by the many efforts of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. On our visits to covered bridges we have seen new roofs, mended walls and upgrades to abutments. Some of the photos in the book show deteriorated bridges now renovated and mended.

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The book provides a list of covered bridges in New Brunswick and Quebec in 1970. Although the list includes the names of 101 covered bridges in New Brunswick, the authors say 113 bridges existed in 1974/75 when they made their visits. The book also says there were 307 covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1950. Many of the names in the list are no longer familiar in today’s covered bridge lexicon: two bridges over the Shikatehawk River in Carleton County; Windgap Brook #1 in Kings County; Southwest Long Creek in Queens County; and Chemical Creek #1 in Albert County. As a point of interest, in the 1960s, there were still three covered bridges in Nova Scotia.

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The Foreword to the book is by Milton Gregg, born in Kings County, New Brunswick – cabinet minister, recipient of the Victoria Cross for bravery in World War II and Officer of the Order of Canada. He was also the founder and head of the League for Rural Renewal mentioned above.

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I was very fortunate to receive my copy of this book from a friend and I thank him again for the gift. Amazon lists the book as available through one of their associated sellers.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

5 Responses

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  1. I had no idea New Brunswick was such a center for covered bridges. Live and learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    Steve Schwartzman

    August 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

    • There are also lots of covered bridges in Quebec, our neighbouring province (in 2012 there were 82 in Quebec). Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      August 14, 2016 at 7:21 pm

  2. Informative and interesting as usual, Jane. That’s a splendid collection of books you are building. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

    rogermoorepoet

    August 8, 2016 at 8:23 am

    • These books give a great record of the losses of our bridges. So much information is gone forever.

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      August 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      • How I would have liked to have sat down at the table with some of my seventeenth century Spanish authors and asked them exactly what they were thinking and doing … closer to home, I didn’t really know that much about my parents … looking back, I too have lost so much.

        Liked by 1 person

        rogermoorepoet

        August 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm


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