About This Location
The Pepperell Covered Bridge, a cherished historical landmark nestled in Pepperell, Massachusetts, holds a unique distinction as not only the closest covered bridge to Boston but also one of only three such bridges open to vehicular traffic in the entire state.
The origins of this bridge trace back to a bygone era, with bridges at this very location dating as far back as 1740. The initial bridge, known as Jewett’s Bridge, was constructed across the serene Nashua River in that year. However, it etched its place in history on April 19, 1775, when it became the site of a remarkable event. Prudence Cummings Wright, a true Patriot from Pepperell, displayed remarkable valor as she intercepted and apprehended two Tory spies en route to deliver crucial intelligence to the British army at Jewett’s Bridge. Wright and a group of courageous women thwarted their mission, earning accolades for their remarkable bravery during those tumultuous times.
In 1845, a town gathering convened in Pepperell to contemplate the construction of a new bridge in the same location, eventually leading to the creation of the bridge we know today. Captain Levi Parker, a respected figure in the community, was entrusted with its construction, and in honor of his role, the bridge was fittingly named after him. The design of this new bridge mirrored that of Runnell’s Bridge, located just across the state line in nearby Hollis, New Hampshire.
As the years passed, the foundation of the bridge gradually succumbed to the wear and tear of time. By 1950, the weight limit had to be drastically reduced, from ten to just four tons. Soon thereafter, the bridge was closed to truck traffic and, in 1958, to all forms of traffic. The fervent efforts of State Representative Chester Waterous paved the way for a new, wider covered bridge. This new bridge, paying homage to the State Representative, was officially dedicated on November 4, 1963.
On July 30, 2010, the current incarnation of the Pepperell Covered Bridge was unveiled to the public. Measuring an impressive 95 feet in length and 47 feet in width, this bridge carries Groton Street over the serene Nashua River. It stands as a testament to the enduring charm of covered bridges, seamlessly blending the historical past with the needs of the modern world.
For visitors eager to immerse themselves in the rich history and picturesque surroundings of the Pepperell Covered Bridge, a loop parking lot awaits at the Prudence Wright Overlook, conveniently located right next to the bridge. Parking here is not only accessible but also free, inviting all to explore this treasured piece of Massachusetts' heritage.