Slaughterhouse Covered Bridge, Northfield Vermont

Date added: July 03, 2024 Categories:
West portal and south elevation (1973)

The Slaughterhouse Covered Bridge is one of five covered wood bridges remaining on public highways in the town of Northfield, the second highest concentration by town of such bridges in Vermont. The Slaughterhouse bridge is the only one of the Northfield bridges which has not been altered structurally. It carries only an occasional vehicle across the Dog River to the abandoned site of a former industry, after which it is named.

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

Bridge Description

The Slaughterhouse Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber queenpost trusses. The structure has not been altered from its original design. It rests on the original abutments, which are built of stone blocks and slabs laid dry in nearly regular courses.

The Slaughterhouse Bridge is 59.5 feet long and 14.5 feet wide and has an 11.5-foot roadway. The wood floor consists of planks laid flat and perpendicular to the trusses, with other planks overlaid transversely in two strips for driving surfaces.

On the exterior, the heavy timbers pegged together to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with flush boards hung vertically. Similar siding protects the ends of the trusses immediately inside the portals. On the north wall, the siding has been painted red; on the south wall, it has not been painted. The siding stops short of the eaves to leave strip openings along the tops of both walls.

The gable ends are sheathed with boards and battens hung vertically; the boards have been painted red and the battens are white. The gable siding extends to the eaves and is undercut in the form of a reversed ogee. The portal openings are framed with semi-elliptical arches. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered with corrugated metal sheeting.

Slaughterhouse Covered Bridge, Northfield Vermont West portal and south elevation (1973)
West portal and south elevation (1973)