Mill Covered Bridge, Tunbridge Vermont

Date added: June 17, 2024
Categories:
West elevation and north portal (1973)

The Mill Covered Bridge is one of five covered wood bridges remaining in the town of Tunbridge. The five bridges, together with another in the adjoining town of Chelsea, cross the First Branch of the White River within a distance of about seven miles, comprising one of the most concentrated groups of covered bridges in Vermont. These bridges have not been seriously altered, and their historic environment of an extraordinarily scenic agricultural valley remains essentially undisturbed.

The Mill bridge stands at the north edge of Tunbridge village, adjacent to the 19th-century mill district of the village. Some of the mill buildings have been adapted to residential and other uses. Together with an upstream mill dam and pond, the covered bridge and mill buildings constitute an exceptionally attractive and functional historic environment.

Bridge Description

The Mill Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber multiple kingpost trusses. The structure lacks top beams and upper lateral bracing. In place of those members, four sets of iron rods crossed vertically connect the top chords to laminated rafters for lateral support. The structure rests on abutments built of irregular stone blocks laid dry; the south abutment has been either faced or rebuilt with concrete.

The Mill bridge is 72.5 feet long at floor level. The ends of the side walls flare outward slightly to meet the gable ends which overhang the floor two feet at each portal. The bridge is 19 feet wide and has a 15.5-foot roadway. The wood floor consists of planks laid flat and parallel to the trusses.

On the exterior, the timbers bolted together to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with unpainted flush boards hung vertically. Similar siding protects the ends of the trusses immediately inside the portals. There are four rectangular windows in the west wall near the north end to provide visibility for the sharp curve in the road at that end of the bridge.

The gable ends are also sheathed with unpainted flush boards hung vertically. The portal openings are framed with semi-elliptical arches. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered with standing seam corrugated metal sheeting.

Mill Covered Bridge, Tunbridge Vermont West elevation and north portal (1973)
West elevation and north portal (1973)

Mill Covered Bridge, Tunbridge Vermont South portal (1973)
South portal (1973)

Mill Covered Bridge, Tunbridge Vermont Mill district of Tunbridge village toward west and Mill covered bridge (1973)
Mill district of Tunbridge village toward west and Mill covered bridge (1973)