nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘history

Forty Five River Covered Bridge

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On our drive to see New Ireland (Albert County), we took the Collier Mountain Road to the south at Teahan’s Corner to see the Forty Five River Covered Bridge. Exciting to see a covered bridge I had never seen before!

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approach to the Forty Five River Bridge

 

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Forty Five River is so-named because it took 45 minutes to raft logs from New Ireland down to Alma (Source: http://newirelandnb.ca/communities-the-irish-of-albert-co/ ).

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the Forty Five River, looking south

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Where the covered bridge crosses Forty Mile River there is a steep gorge and the winds were howling when we visited the bridge.

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Although the road is rough traveling, the Forty Five River Bridge is in excellent shape, showing new timbers throughout.  It was pleasant to sit on the bench-like side timbers and listen to the wind.

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As with most bridges in New Brunswick, the bridge has a social history, partly engraved in its beams.

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For more information on covered bridges in New Brunswick, click on the Categories tab at the right, under ‘covered bridges‘.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Bell Bridge

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Over the past weekend, we were inundated by heavy rains and a sudden rise in temperature. The resulting meltwater and rainwater combined to cause flooding in much of the province. There has been lots of damage to homes and roads and other infrastructure.

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One of the casualties is the Bell Covered Bridge, also known as South Oromocto River #3. Although its ultimate fate is unknown, the damage will be assessed and perhaps we will lose yet another of the 59 covered bridges remaining in the province. I am not alone in hoping this bridge can be repaired or preserved in some way as a reminder of our history and the importance of these bridges to our communities and our heritage.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

January 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm

New Brunswick’s covered bridges … kissing bridges

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A covered bridge is also known as a ‘kissing bridge’ – a place where a couple can steal a caress in privacy.  A covered bridge has always been a good place to leave a message about affection for one another.

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During our covered bridge visits, we’ve seen lots of examples of these messages …

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At least two notations of love in the MacFarlane Covered Bridge (Ward’s Creek #2) …

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Ron and Trish, 2014 and WR and EE, years ago … MacFarlane Bridge

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And another way of linking two sets of initials in the Marven Bridge (Belleisle Creek #2) …

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A heart links J G and CW on the Marven Bridge

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‘Just Married’ in chalk in the Moores Mills Bridge (Trout Creek #5) …

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a chalk message in the Moores Mills Covered Bridge

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And, back in the MacFarlane Bridge, an incomplete notation.  Who did LANA love?

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LANA + in the MacFarlane Covered Bridge 2015

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Copyright  2017  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 1, 2017 at 7:31 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Plumweseep Bridge, New Brunswick

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Plumweseep Bridge (Kennebecasis River #9) built 1911, not far from Sussex …

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The covered bridge in its setting … surrounded by trees, river running beneath, a field of ripened grain in the foreground, the rolling hills of the Kennebecasis Valley in the background.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

last days of a covered bridge … French Village Bridge

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More sad news for New Brunswick’s covered bridge heritage …  In the past months there has been lots of discussion about the fate of the French Village Bridge, also known as Hammond River #2, near Quispamsis, Kings County.

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Built in 1912, the French Village Bridge is one of only 60 covered bridges remaining in the province. In October, 2016, the bridge was severely damaged when a loaded excavator broke through the decking and undercarriage of the bridge.  Although the government began repairs, rot was discovered in the sub-structure. After holding public meetings to consider options, the government recently announced the bridge would be demolished and a modular bridge would take its place.

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The covered bridge is endangered in New Brunswick. In 1900, there were about 400 covered bridges in the province. By 1944, there were only 320. In 1992, when we visited some of the bridges for Canada’s 125th birthday, there were 71. In 2017, as I write this, there are only 60 remaining. Loss of the French Village Bridge will bring the number to 59. Vandalism, flood, accident, fire and age claim more bridges every few years.

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The French Village Bridge is one of those included as subject matter for my upcoming poetry book in the shelter of the covered bridge. As a result, it is one of the bridges we visited to gather information on the plants and animals found there. We are also interested in the human history of the bridge, so we  took photos of the carvings inside.

 

 

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When I look at the small amount of information I have on this bridge, I am saddened and angered to know how much will be lost.  Although economic considerations are important, the loss of built heritage includes loss of community character and part of our material culture. When ‘ROGER’ and ‘B’ and ‘E’ carved their names into the beams of the bridge, they probably thought the bridge would last many years into the future.

https://janetims.com/2016/05/16/a-drawing-of-a-covered-bridge/

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

August 11, 2017 at 7:09 am

changing communities

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Last week we went for a drive to the Cornhill Nursery in Kings County to buy a new cherry tree for our yard. Afterwards we took a drive to visit some of the old communities in the area. One of these communities, Whites Mountain, was a rural farming community with 17 families in 1866 (New Brunswick Provincial Archives). By 1898 the community had one post office, one church and 100 people. Today the community consists of a few farms and residences, perched on a steep hillside overlooking the hilly landscape of northern Kings County.

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On the road descending Whites Mountain, Kings County, overlooking the broad Kennebecasis Valley (September 2016)

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One of the most interesting sights on our drive may also be evidence of the farmsteads formerly in the area.  Although Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.) is native to North America, in this area it is usually associated with human habitation. In the thick woods north of the community, we found Virginia Creeper in profusion, covering the surface of the trees.

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Although there is only forest here now, perhaps the ancestors of these vines covered barns and other buildings in the area.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

 

lost communities – an old flower garden

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Do you ever see an old flower garden, no house in sight, growing alone, expanding and reseeding where it can?

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On our drives to find old one room school houses in the landscape, we often find bits of domesticated flowers, indicating a home once flourished there. Sometimes these old gardens are all that is left of a rural community.

 

I have seen first hand, how many small rural communities in New Brunswick are little more than memories.

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A good example of this is Fredericksburg near Stanley in York County. Today it is a pleasant rural landscape with three or four homes. In 1866 Fredericksburg was a farming settlement with approximately 12 families. This information comes from an information-packed website from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick: ‘Place Names of New Brunswick: Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present’. By typing the name of a community, you can discover information about original land grants, the size of a community in the eighteen hundreds, how many families lived there, the population and whether there was a post office, store, or church.  http://archives.gnb.ca/exhibits/communities/Home.aspx?culture=en-CA

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I am sorry these are not better photos, but the colour among all the green shows the remnants of a flower garden that someone once loved.

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Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) …

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Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) …

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Some more Foxglove and blue Bachelors Button (Centaurea cyanus) …

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Lupin  (Lupinus perennis). I don’t know the identity of the white flowers, but they make a lovely overall ‘bouquet’!

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Have you seen any abandoned flower gardens? Do you wonder what stories they would tell?

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

August 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

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