The Pepperell Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge located in Pepperell, Massachusetts. It is the closest covered bridge to Boston and one of three open to vehicular traffic in the state.
The Pepperell Covered Bridge was built around 1740 and has a long history. The first bridge, known as Jewett’s Bridge, was built across the Nashua River in 1740. On April 19, 1775, just a few days after the British regulars marched into Lexington and Concord, the bridge became notable because of an occurrence there. Prudence Cummings Wright, a genuine Patriot from Pepperell, halted two Tory spies on their way to offer important information to the British army at Jewett’s Bridge. The two males were taken from their horses, searched, and then arrested by Wright and several other ladies. The women were applauded for their bravery.
In 1845, the town of Pepperell held a meeting to discuss the creation of a new bridge at the site of Jewett’s Bridge. The bridge was constructed by Captain Levi Parker and was named after him. It was built exactly like Runnell’s Bridge, which was located just across the state line in nearby Hollis, New Hampshire.
By 1950, the bridge foundation had worn down to the point where the weight limit had to be reduced from ten to four tons. The bridge was soon closed to truck traffic, and it was closed to all traffic in 1958. The replacement of another bridge was pushed for by State Representative Chester Waterous. The new wider covered bridge was named after the State Representative. it was dedicated on November 4, 1963.
On July 30, 2010, the current Pepperell Covered Bridge reopened. It measures 95 feet long and 47 feet broad. The historic Pepperell Covered Bridge is one of only three covered bridges open to automobile travel on public Massachusetts roadways, and it is the closest to the larger Boston area.
Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Check out the GoXplr Massachusetts Map at goxplr.com/map/massachusetts!
Covered Bridge Specs
- Constructed: 2010
- Design/Style: Concrete stringer bridge with faux wooden truss
- Total length: 190 feet
- Total width: 24 feet
- Carries: Groton St
- Crosses: Nashua River
- Usage: Open to vehicles
- World Guide Number: 21-09-01