Covered bridge in Vermont

Silk Covered Bridge - Robinson Bridge, Bennington Vermont
Date added: August 21, 2022 Categories: Vermont Bridges Covered Bridges Town Lattice Truss
Looking northwest (1973)

Although its builder and date have not been documented, the Silk Covered Bridge was probably constructed by Benjamin F. Sears, member of a locally prominent family of bridge builders, about 1840. It is one of two bridges built by that family among three covered bridges that survive in Bennington township. The three bridges cross the same river within two miles of one another.

The covered bridges of Vermont are among its most cherished and symbolic historic resources. About one hundred bridges still stand in the state, the greatest concentration by area of covered bridges in the country.

The Silk Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber Town lattice trusses. Additional floor beams have been placed in the structure for reinforcement. The north end of the bridge rests on an abutment built of stone slabs overlaid with a concrete cap; the south abutment has been rebuilt in concrete. The bridge is 88 feet long and 19 feet wide, with a 15-foot roadway.

On the exterior, the large planks pegged together diagonally to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with flush boards hung vertically. Similar siding protects the ends of trusses immediately inside the portals. The gables are sheathed with flush boards hung horizontally. The exterior siding is painted dark red; the siding inside the portals is painted white to increase visibility.

Beginning nine feet from each end of the bridge, the vertical siding reaches only six feet above the floor, leaving the upper sides of the trusses exposed. The overhang of the roof protects the open trusswork. The roof is covered with wood shingles.

Silk Covered Bridge - Robinson Bridge, Bennington Vermont Looking north (1973)
Looking north (1973)

Silk Covered Bridge - Robinson Bridge, Bennington Vermont Looking northwest (1973)
Looking northwest (1973)