Gold Brook Covered Bridge (Emily’s Bridge)

Stowe, Vermont
Gold Brook Covered Bridge, also known as Emily’s Bridge, is a historic covered bridge in Stowe, Vermont which is also said to be haunted.
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About This Location

Gold Brook Covered Bridge: A Historic Icon with a Haunting History

Where the Charms of History and the Mysteries of the Paranormal Converge

In the picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont, the Gold Brook Covered Bridge, also affectionately known as Stowe Hollow Bridge or Emily’s Bridge, stands as a timeless testament to both the region’s history and its mysterious folklore. This beautiful small wooden covered bridge, which has spanned Gold Brook since 1844, is a cherished symbol of Vermont’s architectural heritage. However, its claim to fame extends beyond its historical significance, as it is intertwined with a captivating ghostly legend that has intrigued locals and visitors for generations.

A Bridge Born from History:

The Gold Brook Covered Bridge was meticulously crafted by John W. Smith and completed in 1844. This remarkable structure was one of the earliest applications of the Howe truss design. The Howe truss was a revolutionary development in bridge engineering, with the first bridge of this type being built in Massachusetts in 1838.

Notably, the Gold Brook Covered Bridge is the oldest Howe Truss bridge in Vermont, boasting a unique place in the state’s architectural legacy. It is the only public highway bridge in Vermont supported by timber Howe trusses. The design of the bridge marked the transition from wood to iron in structural materials, incorporating iron suspension rods and angle blocks to enhance its strength and stability.

Architectural Marvel:

The Gold Brook Covered Bridge comprises a single span, supported by two flanking timber Howe trusses. These trusses employ iron suspension rods that connect the top and bottom chords, providing essential reinforcement between the diagonal timber braces and counter braces. The bridge’s floor has seen the original timber deck beams replaced with railroad rails, laid both perpendicular and parallel to the bottom chords to support the bridge floor.

With an overall length of 48.5 feet at floor level, a width of 17 feet, and a 13.5-foot roadway, the bridge is not only a historical gem but also a functional thoroughfare. The wooden floor is paved with planks laid flat and perpendicular to the trusses. Resting on abutments constructed from irregular stone slabs laid dry, the bridge is sheltered by a gabled metal roof. The exterior is sheathed in vertical board siding, allowing a strip at the top for added charm.

Preservation and Recognition:

Recognizing the bridge’s historical importance, the residents of Stowe adopted a resolution in 1969, entrusting the selectmen with the responsibility of providing “perpetual maintenance” of the Gold Brook Covered Bridge. On October 1, 1974, the bridge received the prestigious honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, marking its vital role in preserving Vermont’s architectural heritage. The reference number for this bridge is 74000224, a testament to its significance.

Gateway to the Paranormal:

Besides its historical legacy, the Gold Brook Covered Bridge has made a name for itself in the realm of the paranormal. It was prominently featured on the Travel Channel’s “Most Terrifying Places in America” series in an episode titled “Cursed Towns.” The legend tells the story of Emily, a young bride-to-be from a modest background who fell in love with a young man from an affluent family in the 1850s. Their love was thwarted by his family’s disapproval. In a tragic turn of events, Emily is said to have waited on the bridge for her beloved one fateful midnight. When he did not appear, heartbroken, she leaped from the bridge into the brook below and lost her life.

Locals have shared that Emily’s ghost continues to haunt the bridge that now bears her name. Her presence is said to linger in the whispers of the wind that rustles through the bridge’s wooden timbers, turning this historical landmark into an eerie and captivating destination for those who dare to explore its otherworldly side.

Visiting Emily’s Bridge:

For those seeking to visit the Gold Brook Covered Bridge, a dedicated dirt parking area is conveniently located at the northern entrance of the bridge. With space for approximately 4-5 cars, parking is free. Several vantage points are available, offering picturesque views from various angles. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history or curious about the supernatural tales surrounding Emily’s Bridge, this iconic structure in Stowe welcomes all who wish to embark on a journey through time and mystery.

Location

Address: Covered Bridge Road, Stowe, Vermont
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.440403, -72.679875
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.440403, -72.679875
Parking Notes: There is a dedicated dirt parking area located at the northern entrance of the covered bridge. About 4-5 cars can fit in the area and parking is free.

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