Hopkinton, New Hampshire
- East of N.H. Route 103 in Contoocook Village on the old
Concord and Claremont Railroad line spanning the Contoocook River.
- Style of Bridge:
- Double Town-Pratt lattice truss
- Year of Construction:
- Originally constructed in 1849-50 with major reconstruction in 1889.
- Original Cost:
- Structural Characteristics:
- The bridge is 140'1" long and has clear spans of 64'0" and 67'0".
It has an overall width of 21'6" and a roadway width of 15'1",
and a maximum vertical clearance of 19'4". The rail line has been abandoned.
- Maintained By:
- New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources
- World Guide Number:
- New Hampshire Number:
- Historical Remarks:
The structure was originally built when the Concord and
Claremont Railroad laid its first 33 miles of track from Concord to
Bradford, N.H. In the fall of 1850 when trains began to run
regularly between Concord and Contoocook, a "day of great
festivity" was held. Speeches were made, the band played, and
the cannon thundered. A thousand people sat down to eat at a
public dinner that cost $200 to put on. The bridge washed off its
abutments in 1936 when the Contoocook River flooded and again
in 1938 from a hurricane. The bridge was kept from washing
downstream because the rails were bolted together at each joint.
After the flood water receded, the bridge was drawn back to its
location and restored. From 1962 until 1990 a Contoocook merchant
owned and used it as a warehouse. In 1990 the bridge was given
to the New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources under RSA
234:31. In the National Register of Historic Places Inventory
(nomination form) it was stated that this bridge is the oldest
covered railroad bridge still standing in the United States. The
Railroad Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Table of Contents
New Hampshire Bridges
New Hampshire Covered Bridges
Compiled and edited by
Richard G. Marshall
Chief System Planning
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Color photographs by Arthur F. Rounds