Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Covered Bridge

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Institution Name: New England College
Original/Historic Place Name: New England Covered Bridge; sometimes referred to as Henniker Covered Bridge
Location on Campus: across the Contoocook River behind Colby Hall, 24 Bridge St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1971-1972original construction; March 1971- May 14, 1972 Graton, Milton S. Graton Associates
Designer: Milton S. Graton; Graton Associates (Ashland, NH)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, engineering, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1972-present (2006)other (bridge)

The bridge was built to be a pedestrian walkway across the Contoocook River. It will also support one lane vehicular traffic in an emergency, and the fire and police departments occasionally use it for this purpose, although it is normally blocked off to vehicular traffic. It is part of a scenic loop walk along the river as well as an emergency evacuation route for children from the community school.

The bridge is in good condition, although the roof is badly worn and needs to be replaced and other minor repairs made. It is the first authentic all-wood covered bridge ever constructed by a college. It was built here by Milton S. Graton with the assistance of the New England College engineering students. It is the first covered bridge built in NH since 1907 using the traditional Town lattice truss, and it started a revival of covered bridge construction using traditional methods and materials which continues today. It is one of the earliest remaining examples of the work of Milton S. Graton, who revitalized this technique. The covered bridge is listed on the NH State Register of Historic Places as a landmark in the revival of wooden bridge engineering and craftsmanship.


Graton, Milton S. The Last of the Covered Bridge Builders. Plymouth, NH: Clifford-Nicol, 1978.

"New England College Bridge Declared Historic." New Hampshire Preservation Alliance News (Fall 2002).


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Last update: November 2006