Cornwall, Connecticut

The West Cornwall Covered Bridge, a picturesque and historically significant structure, stretches 172 feet over the Housatonic River in Cornwall, Connecticut.

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About This Location

The West Cornwall Covered Bridge, a picturesque and historically significant structure, graces the charming town of Cornwall, Connecticut. This wooden covered lattice truss bridge stands as both a testament to the town's enduring heritage and a symbol of its resilience in the face of natural disasters.

The bridge, often referred to as the Hart Bridge in its earlier incarnation, has played a crucial role in connecting the communities separated by the Housatonic River. Historical records suggest that the site may have housed a bridge as early as 1762, but Cornwall's turbulent weather, including ice storms and floods, frequently led to the demise of these early structures. The current West Cornwall Covered Bridge, constructed circa 1864, stands as a testament to the town's determination to bridge the gap.

Spanning a length of 172 feet and spanning 15 feet in width, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge carries the Sharon-Goshen Turnpike, now known as Connecticut Route 128, over the Housatonic River. Its Town lattice truss design, constructed using robust red spruce timbers secured by treenails, has proven to be a durable and efficient load-bearing structure. This design's significance lies in its lightweight yet sturdy construction, showcasing the craftsmanship of the era.

The bridge features two spans, measuring 64 feet and 81 feet, with a 3.2 feet gap between them. The combination of the Town lattice truss and the later addition of queen trusses lends the bridge a unique appearance, with the appearance of kingposts within the queenposts. Despite the challenging conditions it has faced throughout its history, including ice jams, flooding, and even vehicular accidents, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge has continued to stand tall.

Over the years, this covered bridge has achieved a level of cultural significance, earning its place on postcards of New England villages. Its appearance in the opening scenes of the movie "Valley of the Dolls" and its role as an inspiration for Charles Ives' music demonstrate its enduring cultural impact. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 1975. The National Park Service assigned the bridge reference number 75001923.

Today, visitors can appreciate the bridge's historical and architectural significance by stopping at the small parking area on the east side of the West Cornwall Covered Bridge. While cars continue to cross the bridge, visitors should exercise caution while taking pictures and admiring this iconic structure. As one of the last remaining covered bridges in Connecticut, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge stands as a testament to the region's rich history and enduring spirit.

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Sharon-Goshen Turnpike, Cornwall, Connecticut

GPS Coordinates:
41.871556, -73.363861
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
There is a small parking area on the east side of the West Cornwall Covered Bridge so visitors can stop and take a picture and admire the bridge. Cars cross the bridge so be careful while viewing.


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