Dean Covered Bridge, Brandon Vermont

Date added: May 15, 2024 Categories:
Looking south (1973)

The Dean Covered Bridge and the matching Sanderson Covered Bridge are the only covered wood bridges remaining in the town of Brandon. Both cross the Otter Creek within about one mile of each other. In dimensions, structure, and materials, the bridges are essentially identical. The Dean Bridge was built in 1838 and the Sanderson Bridge about 1840, which ranks them among the oldest covered bridges in Vermont.

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.

Bridge Description

The Dean Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber Town lattice trusses. Two laminated stringers have been tie-bolted to the underside of the floor beams parallel to the trusses to reinforce the structure; each stringer comprises several shorter timbers that are tie-bolted together. Iron sway braces extending diagonally between the bottom chords have been added to the underside of the floor beams.

The abutments of the bridge have been partially modified. The original abutments are built of marble slabs laid dry in regular courses. These abutments continue to bear the ends of the trusses. The portals of the bridge, however, extend about 5.5 feet beyond the trusses to rest on recently built abutments of small marble slabs and blocks laid dry. Several angled timbers carry the roadway from the newer abutments to the ends of the bridge floor.

The bridge is 132 feet long overall. The trusses extend about 121 feet; the portals project about 5.5 feet beyond the trusses at each end. The wood floor begins about seven feet inside each portal and consists of planks laid on edge parallel to the trusses. The approaches are paved with asphalt. The bridge is 21.5 feet wide, with an 18-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 encloses the walls of the portals which extend beyond the trusses. There are no windows or openings in the side walls. The gable ends, which are also sheathed with flush vertical boards, are pedimented and have partial cornice returns. The gable roof is covered with slate shingles.

Dean Covered Bridge, Brandon Vermont Looking south (1973)
Looking south (1973)