Meriden Covered Bridge
National Register Nomination Information:
Multiple Kingpost Truss type all wood covered bridge, single span; outside length is 85 feet and 16 feet in width; the deck or roadway is 14 feet in width.
There are twenty-two panels, 36 inches wide, with twenty-three posts on a side. Center post is 6 inches x 10 inches; others are 5-1/2 inches x 7 inches, the braces are 4 inches x 6 inches. Top and bottom chords are joined to the posts by iron bolts.
The bridge was repaired in 1953 and again in 1963 at which time new cement abutments were made and the bridge was rebuilt, and steel beams were introduced to carry the load (15 tons). The high gable roof is covered with wood shingles. The exterior is sheathed with vertical plain butted boards, approximately 1/3 of the way up from the bottom chord (about 5 feet).
The portals are segmental/triangular in style, made up of plain boards butted vertically.
Meriden Covered Bridge, constructed c.1880 is significant in the areas of engineering and construction.
It is particularly noteworthy as an example of the work of James F. Tasker of nearby Cornish, New Hampshire. Although unable to read or write, Tasker was a well-known bridge builder in the lower Connecticut River Valley. The Meriden Covered Bridge is an example of the multiple kingpost design developed by Tasker for use in spanning the more moderate crossings in the area.
The bridge has been an important element in the transportation network of Plainfield since its erection and while playing an important role in that respect it also maintains the character and setting of the area much the same as it was a century ago.
Keyworth states that the bridge was built in 1880 by James Tasker (1826-1903) for the sum of $300 (Keyworth, Covered Bridges of New Hampshire, p. 54). See also: The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges World Guide to Covered Bridges (Number 29-10-08); the New Hampshire Department of Public Works and Highways (Number 157/121) and the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Survey
Child, William H. History of Cornish, NH. 1763-1900 (Concord, N.H.) 1911, 2 vols.
Kenyon, Thedia C. New Hampshire's Covered Bridges, Wake-Brook House, rev. ed.p.74 & 75.
Keyworth, William G. The Covered Bridges of New Hampshire, p. 54.
White, W. Edward, Covered Bridges of New Hampshire (Plymouth, N.H.), p. 25 (illus).
DATE ENTERED: August 27, 1980.
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