Blair Covered Bridge

Campton, New Hampshire
The Blair Covered Bridge built in 1829 in Campton, New Hampshire, is a charming wooden covered bridge with a rich history and unique features.
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About This Location

The Blair Covered Bridge in Campton, New Hampshire, is a charming wooden covered bridge with a rich history and unique features. Originally constructed in 1829, it has been a vital link for travelers, connecting New Hampshire Route 175 to the east with U.S. Route 3 and Interstate 93 to the west.

The bridge’s history is marked by a curious incident involving its predecessor. The first bridge at this location, built in 1829, was tragically burned down by a man named Lem Parker. Parker claimed that he was divinely instructed to set the bridge on fire. Despite confessing to the act in court, he was found not guilty due to a lack of witnesses. This unusual incident led to the construction of the current bridge.

The decision to rebuild the bridge was prompted by a doctor’s ill-fated attempt to ford the Pemigewasset River on horseback. The strong current claimed the horse’s life, but the doctor was fortunate enough to be saved. Following this incident, the town swiftly voted to construct a new bridge. A sign was prominently displayed on the bridge, warning travelers of a fine of five dollars for riding or driving across it at speeds exceeding five miles per hour.

The Blair Covered Bridge underwent a significant restoration in 1977, carried out by Milton Graton and his son Arnold, at a cost of $59,379. The expense was shared between the town of Campton and the state of New Hampshire. This restoration ensured the bridge’s continued use and preservation.

In recognition of its historical significance, the Blair Bridge was designated to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places on July 27, 2009. However, its resilience was tested once again during Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011, which caused damage to the bridge. Fortunately, master bridgewright Arnold M. Graton spearheaded extensive structural repairs, and the bridge reopened to the public in early 2015. The weight limit was increased to six tons per vehicle, twice the previous limit of three tons.

The Blair Covered Bridge spans an impressive 292 feet and features two clear spans of 139 feet and 131 feet. It has an overall width of 20 feet and offers a maximum vertical clearance of 13 feet. However, it is essential to note that the bridge is posted for a weight limit of three tons.

For visitors interested in exploring this historic bridge, there is a convenient dirt parking area located near the western entrance. Here, you’ll also find a historical marker that provides additional information about the bridge’s history and significance. Parking is free, and the Blair Covered Bridge continues to be a picturesque and historic gem in the Campton area, welcoming travelers from near and far to experience its timeless charm.

Location

Address: Blair Road, Campton, New Hampshire
Place GPS Coordinates: 43.810306, -71.665778
Parking GPS Coordinates: 43.810306, -71.665778
Parking Notes: A good-sized dirt parking area can be found steps from the western entrance of the bridge. A historical marker at the parking area allows visitors to learn more about the bridge. Parking is free.

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