poetry and prose about place

celebration of a covered bridge 2

with 5 comments

Last Saturday, about thirty people gathered in the Rusagonis Covered Bridge Park to celebrate our beautiful covered bridge (the Patrick Owens Bridge) with readings and stories.


Patrick Owens Bridge rainbow


We heard from several speakers and readers including:


Jeff Carr … Jeff is MLA for New Maryland-Sunbury and candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party in the upcoming provincial election. He recalled the loss this year of the Bell Covered Bridge and some of the frustrating circumstances around that loss.

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Linda Cogswell … Linda is a local historian and reminded us of the history of the Patrick Owens Bridge and the celebration a few years ago of its first hundred years! The original cost of the Patrick Owens Bridge in 1908 was $5,439 !

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Rose Burke … Rose’s reading recalled the loss of the Upper Mills Bridge to fire in 1956 and what it was like to live in a border town in the 1950s. Kids would travel freely across the border, back and forth from Baring, Maine to Upper Mills, New Brunswick, to buy ice-cream or play at one-another’s houses!

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Jenica Atwin … Jenica, a long-time resident of Rusagonis and candidate for the NB Green Party in the upcoming provincial election, read a poem about the way covered bridges affect our daily lives.

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Roger Moore … Roger gave a poignant reading of his poems about our recent flooding in the area and recalled eerie battles with rising water and ruined belongings.

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Neil Sampson … Neil read a poem about the Bell Bridge by Fredericton’s Cultural Laureate, Ian LeTourneau. He also read his own humorous poem about attending a covered bridge gathering after a dental appointment (with ‘covered bridges’).

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and me (Jane Tims) … I read from my poetry book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’. The book includes several poems about the Patrick Owens Bridge and the wild life encountered there – deer and groundhogs, blue jays and rabbits.

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Ray Boucher, President of the New Brunswick Covered Bridge Conservation Association, was on hand to chat about the goal of protecting our remaining covered bridges and ask people to sign the petition to ask government to take steps to preserve the bridges.

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The park was perfect for the occasion and many folks said we should continue to use the park for community events.



A big thanks to Jeff Carr and his team of Kim Smith, Pat and Mac Burns, Bernie Phillips and others who prepared some delicious food for everyone.



The day was hot and breezy and all those hats were needed in the afternoon sun!!!



All my best!





Written by jane tims

August 31, 2018 at 7:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. Jane, this is a wonderful review of the celebration. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon in our lovely little park beside the Patrick Owen bridge. Thank you for all the work you put into making the afternoon a success and thank you to those who keep the park looking so nice.

    Liked by 1 person


    August 31, 2018 at 7:29 am

    • And thank you for participating. I was boiling in the sun but laughed several times during your story. I remember those tubs of ice cream and the little wooden spoons.


      jane tims

      September 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      • Jane, I enjoyed reading this review of the celebration. It is great to know that there is so much interest in the community’s local covered bridge. I represent the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, an American organization dedicated to seeing that our historic covered bridges are preserved for future generations to enjoy. This year our annual tour will be in New Brunswick in July. My wife and I have been to the Patrick Owens Bridge a couple times in the past year while planning our tour route. The group will be visiting this bridge on Friday afternoon, July 26th.

        Liked by 1 person

        Bill Caswell

        June 30, 2019 at 4:37 pm

      • Hi Bill. We are looking forward to hosting your tour on July 29 ( I think that is the date). I wonder if there is a way to interact with the group while you are in our community. You probably have a tight schedule. There is a nice little park by the bridge so I’m certain you will like your visit. I notice someone has spray-painted NOS4a… after the new tv show, some people! My email is if you want to contact me there.


        jane tims

        July 8, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      • Hi Bill. I was sorry not to meet you when you were in NB but, hey, I see you won a copy of my book. I hope you enjoy it. Also, Michele Trembley told me you are good friends. I know Michele well from her work on Gulf of Maine Council. It is a small world!


        jane tims

        August 9, 2019 at 8:38 pm

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