nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges

on my bookshelf: New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges by Helen Coldrick

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One of the ‘must haves’ in a collection of books about covered bridges in New Brunswick is Helen Coldrick’s soft cover book New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. It includes drawings and information on the 70 bridges that existed in 1992. Today there are only 60 covered bridges in New Brunswick and Helen’s book is one way of seeing some of what we are missing.

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Helen Coldrick. New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. Neptune Publishing Company Limited: Saint John, 1992.

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In her book, Helen includes 30 of her black and white drawings of various covered bridges and construction features. I love these drawings because I can see the artist’s process in the lines: her way of using shadow and white space, and her approach to portraying the reflections in water. The drawings also show the setting of each bridge and in some cases, the dramatic landscape of the river beneath.

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Drawings in the book include bridges now lost: the Aaron Clarke Bridge (lost to flooding in 2014) and Iroquois River #4 (no longer standing).  The book also includes a listing of the covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1992. I think one of the values of the book is its snapshot of the situation in years past. The New Brunswick government keeps a list of today’s covered bridges but finding information on those no longer existing is more challenging. Helen’s book shows us what some of these lost bridges looked like and tells some of their stories.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges includes a general history of covered bridges in New Brunswick, and a description of covered bridges by county. The book also includes lots of information on bridge construction, including pages on trusses, abutments, bases, sidings, entrances, windows and walkways, and roofs.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is available for $7.95 from Nimbus Publishing (www.nimbus.ca). If you are interested in New Brunswick, covered bridges, history or architecture, or if you just like books with lovely drawings, this would be a great addition to your library!

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Copyright  Jane Tims 2016

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on my book shelf – New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges

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As part of my project ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ I have collected books about covered bridges in New Brunswick. One of my favourites is a small book of photos of the 62 covered bridges existing in 2010: Brian Atkinson. New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. Nimbus Publishing: Halifax. 2010.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is a compact hardcover, small enough to take along on an adventure spent visiting our covered bridges. The bridges are arranged by County and easily found in an index. Directions to each bridge are provided. Some of the entries include anecdotes about the bridge and all list the year the bridge was built.

The best elements of the book are Brian’s photographs. They are clear and set each bridge in its surroundings. Some are taken from unusual angles, either from an upstream or downstream vantage point. One is taken beneath the bridge! Although some offer enticing glimpses through the bridge’s entrance, none show the inside of the bridge.

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Brian’s book includes an introduction outlining the history of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. He includes information on the construction of the bridges and the origin of the signage advising folks to ‘Walk Your Horse and Save A Fine’!

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Included in the book is a preface which points out how many of our bridges are in out-of-the-way places … many New Brunswickers have never seen the most quaint and lovely of our bridges. As Brian says of one of the bridges: ‘… as pretty a spot as you can find for letting an afternoon slip by …’.

As the book tells us, in 1900 there were 4000 covered bridges in New Brunswick, in 1944, 320 and in 2010, only 62. Today, as a result of flood and fire, only 60 remain. My advice – take Brian’s book and head out for an expedition to make your own discoveries about this wonderful part of our built history.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is available through Westminster Books in Fredericton, your own local bookstore, or Nimbus Publishing

https://www.nimbus.ca/?s=New+Brunswick%27s+covered+bridges

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

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