Charlemont, Massachusetts

The Bissell Covered Bridge, a picturesque Long through truss bridge, has a history deeply intertwined with the community of Charlemont, Massachusetts.

Location Added By:

@nailsaloveaffair (Instagram)

About This Location

The Bissell Covered Bridge, a picturesque Long through truss bridge, has a history deeply intertwined with the community of Charlemont, Massachusetts. Its story reflects not only the importance of preserving historic structures but also the resilience of a town determined to maintain its heritage.

The bridge's origins trace back to 1880 when the town allocated $1,000 for its construction. Over the decades, as the mid-20th century approached, the bridge began to deteriorate, prompting the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) to close it down. However, the town of Charlemont vigorously opposed the notion of replacing this iconic structure with a modern steel-and-concrete bridge. This passionate debate captured media attention and ignited a spirited discussion.

Ultimately, a compromise was reached that would lead to a bridge nearly identical to the original. The result was the construction of the second Bissell Covered Bridge, completed in 1951 with funding contributions from all levels of government. It marked a significant milestone as the first covered bridge built in Massachusetts in the 20th century. While adhering closely to the original design, some modifications were made to meet modern roadway requirements.

The present-day Bissell Covered Bridge, a TECO Enhanced Long through truss bridge, stands as a testament to the commitment of Charlemont and its residents to preserving their history. However, by the close of the 20th century, even the new bridge was showing signs of wear and tear, necessitating its closure for extensive rehabilitation. It was soon opened again.

Today, the bridge, measuring 92 feet in length, gracefully spans Mill Brook, providing a single lane for vehicular traffic along North Health Road. Visitors to the bridge can conveniently park on Park Street, just a stone's throw from the bridge itself. An observation deck offers a vantage point for capturing the bridge's timeless charm.

The Bissell Covered Bridge's significance extends beyond its visual appeal and historical value; it's a testament to the enduring spirit of Charlemont and its unwavering dedication to preserving its heritage. This commitment was further recognized when, on February 26, 2004, the bridge earned a well-deserved place on the National Register of Historic Places. This prestigious designation, bestowed by the National Park Service with the reference number 04000083, acknowledges the bridge's cultural and historical importance, solidifying its status as a cherished landmark in the community and beyond.

Location Features

No items found.


39 North Heath Road, Charlemont, Massachusetts

GPS Coordinates:
42.631666, -72.868882
Directions to location:
Click here for location directions
Directions to parking area:
Click here for parking directions
Parking Notes:
Park at the adjacent Fair Grounds lot and then walk over to the bridge. Parking is free.


Have you visited this location before? Let us know what you thought! (Feature coming soon!)