Covered Bridge - $3.95
Every school project or model railroad layout needs a river and THAT river is best crossed by this lovely little Covered Bridge. Inspired by the one on display (and in use!) at the Old Sturbridge Village Museum in Sturbridge Ma. Easy to build and with interior details as well.
Photogenic covered bridges, vestiges of our country’s past, are still a common sight in New England. Vermont alone has more than 100 covered bridges spanning streams and rivers throughout the state. Most of them are still in use.
Vermont, named after the French words for green mountains, is as lush and peaceful a place as any country traveler could hope to find.
In an age when sameness has mushroomed across the nation in strip developments, shopping malls, and franchise food outlets, Vermont remains distinctly individual, unto itself. Vermont makes a striking portrait, each feature contributing to a face like no other.
The rocky hill farms, cliff-sided lakes and sweet-scented apple blossoms; the muddy pastures, tumble down barns and lolly-gagging cows; the soft-sloping mountains; the dark, dripping sap and the no-nonsense people- these are the images that linger. Because the fourteenth state is distinctive, visitors often refer to it as the land that time forgot, or never-never land.
While Vermonters hotly debate the level of development in the state- and many feel it should not advance- Vermont is an unspoiled paradise compared to much of the United States.
The Covered Bridge
In the early 19th century, covered bridges were erected by the same methods used to build barns. The purpose of the roofed structures was to protect timbers from the region’s dramatic climatic variations.
Roofs were pitched to shed snow, and the barn-like openings made them easier for horses to enter. Before the advent of more sophisticated engineering, the length of the timbers determined the length of a span. Later, trusses were designed to distribute the load and allow the use of spliced timbers, which led to the construction of longer spans.
Ithiel Town designed the most popular covered bridge design, the Town lattice truss. The short timbers and spliced stringers made it easy and inexpensive to build a bridge that could take a lot of wear and tear. Other popular truss systems, named for their designers are the Burr, Howe, Warren, and McCollum systems, all of which differ in the distribution of stress.
Location, Location, Location
One of the longest covered bridges in the country crosses the connecticut River between Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire. The longest example of a Town lattice truss is the Scott Covered Bridge in Townshend.
It has a span of more than 165 feet. The oldest covered bridge in the state, the Pulp Mill Bridge in the Middlebury, dates to 1820. The newest member of the ranks was built in Woodstock in 1969.
Of Vermont’s three remaining covered railroad bridges, the Fisher Bridge across the Lamoille River in Wolcott is the only one still in use.
The Swanton Covered Railroad Bridge in Swanton is the longest covered railroad bridge in the country, a 369-foot-long span.
Ironically, it was necessary to shovel snow onto covered bridges in the winter to let sleighs and other horse-drawn vehicles pass over them.
Only a few covered bridges remain--as they deteriorated, they were replaced by concrete and steel bridges, which don’t need wooden covers to protect them.
Contrary to popular belief, covered bridges were not built that way to keep the snow and rain off travelers. And not all New England bridges were covered.
The builders of covered bridges wanted to outsmart Mother Nature and make their structures last as long as possible by protecting them from New England weather.
The covered bridge’s roof and sides were easy to replace. They kept wind, rain, snow, and sleet from the heavy beams and timbers that supported the bridge load.
This model has recently been digitally re-mastered and a layout has been added! This New England Covered Bridge has an inner PLUS an outer modeling surface and is perfect to bash into a fantastic looking model.
Simply print another copy and use the parts to add the ridge to the roof, the window frames, raised planks on the walls, make the fences out of little twigs glued together..
The ramps can be built using REAL rocks and the surface fine dirt over spray glue...
Little sponge shrubs from the hobby shop...
You can take a pair of scissors and cut this bridge to any size and EVEN cut it down the middle and glue it to the your model village background.
There's no limit to the fun and imagination you can get involved with putting these little models together.