What a fun day!
I opened my eyes and saw a beam of light coming through the window. I grabbed my camera and ran down the stairs in hopes of seeing the sun coming up over the mountain. I was a little too late but the view was still beautiful.
We knew that the weather for the day would be cool with spotty rain but we were off shortly after breakfast.
Ellen had mentioned that there are about 100 covered bridges in Vermont and she was going to take us on a tour of five covered bridges in Bennington County. Randy and I both love covered bridges and were excited for the chance to visit several during our stay.
Our first stop was the Chiselville Covered Bridge east of Arlington, Vermont. By the time we arrived at the bridge spits of rain started to fall on the windshield. There was nowhere to pull off on this side of the bridge so I had to take a picture through the windshield.
The bridge was built in 1870 and spans the Roaring Branch Brook. This is a 117’ 0” long one lane lattice truss bridge. I loved the inscription on the bridge that read: “One dollar fine for driving faster than a walk on this bridge”.
We continued our tour stopping at the West Arlington Bridge that spans the Battenkill River. Rain or no rain I was definitely getting out of the car to enjoy this bridge. The setting was very picturesque. The bridge was built in 1852 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. I walked through the bridge to the other side enjoying the lattice work dowel and peg construction. It was lovely.
The next stop on our tour was the North Bennington Railroad Station. According to Wikipedia, “Built in 1897-98 by the Bennington and Rutland Railroad, it is the only Richardsonian Romanesque railroad station in the state of Vermont. It was listed on the Register of Historic Places in 1988 and now houses a restaurant”.
I walked around the building stopping once in a while to peek through the windows. I did not see much. What caught my eye though was a stone sculpture near the tracks called, “Waiting for the Train 2010 – Matthew Perry”.
As we made our way to our next stop, I spotted a moose sculpture and had to get out of the car to explore. We were in the village of North Bennington. There were fall leaves painted all over the moose. I loved it. I started to walk back to the car and spotted another fun thing. There on the corner of the road were two planters filled with beautiful summer flowers and standing tall was a no parking sign decorated with lovely flowers all done by the North Bennington Village School first graders and V.A.E. “How fun is that”, I thought.
Next stop on our tour was the Paper Mill Bridge built in 1889. This town lattice truss structure spans the Walloomsac River. The bridge was named for a 1790 paper mill that was one of the state’s first. The Paper Mill Bridge is a single span bridge and is the longest covered bridge in Bennington County spanning 125’.
The next bridge we stopped at was the Henry Covered Bridge. The Henry Bridge was originally built in 1840 and also spans the Walloomsac River. The Henry Bridge was listed on the Register of Historic places in 1973 as Bennington County’s oldest covered bridge with a span of 121’.
By now it was raining in earnest but I continued to get out of the car to walk through the bridges. While taking photographs of the Henry Bridge I enjoyed watching a father giving fishing tips to his daughter in the river. I also spent a little time reading a bit of posted history of the Battle of Bennington.
Our next stop was the Battle of Bennington Monument. Construction on the monument began in 1887 and was completed in 1891. Also on the grounds are monuments to Seth Warner, commander of the Green Mountain Boys and a large granite boulder in honor of General John Stark and the 1,400 New Hampshire men who were involved in the battle.
As we walked around the grounds, my eye caught sight of another moose. This moose is called the ‘Covered Bridge Moose’ by artist Jane Nichols Bates and was completed for the 2005 Bennington Moosefest. Painted on the torso of the moose are the covered bridges of Bennington County. This was so cool!
The last bridge on our tour was a trial and tribulation to get to. There was road construction on the road to the bridge and we drove around trying to find another way to get to the Silk Road Bridge. We laughed and laughed as we periodically looked out the window and remarked, “Didn’t we already turn this way. This road looks familiar”. Too funny!
We finally made it to the bridge. The Silk Road Bridge built in 1840 spans the Wallomsac River between downtown Bennington and the village of North Bennington. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Our tour ended, it was time for lunch. We headed back to Manchester to a restaurant called Christos’ Pizza and Pasta for a Greek pizza. I had never had a Greek pizza before and thought it would be interesting to try. The pizza was very tasty. We spent our time eating and talking about the wonderful tour that Ellen had taken us on that morning. All the bridges were construction the same, all were red with green roofs but oddly enough each bridge had a different feel to it. I enjoyed them all!
We returned home and settled in for a lazy afternoon. I introduced Ellen to a British series I was watching called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. From her introduction to this series, Ellen was hooked.
This was truly a wonderful day made all the more so because Ellen put so much time into researching activities that she thought would be of interest to us during our stay. I am not sure but I am very certain I said, “Thank you”, a great deal that afternoon and evening.
Tomorrow we are off to the Vermont Country Store.