Three historical areas in the Town of Cambridge each features its own surviving covered bridge. The Gates Farm Bridge crosses the Seymour River in Cambridge Village, the Grist Mill Bridge crosses the Brewster River in Jeffersonville, and the Cambridge Junction Bridge crosses the Lamoille River in Cambridge Junction. All of these are “arch” bridges based on the truss patented in 1817 by Theodore Burr.

The Burr timber arch is based on the same principle as the stone arch – each piece transmits the weight of the structure to the other, and ultimately to the bridge footings on the banks of the stream.

Cambridge Village once had two covered bridges: the Big Bridge, a 156 foot two-lane or double bridge over the

Lamoille River and the Little Bridge, an 82 foot single span over the Seymour River. Both bridges served the road that later became VT Route 15. Long-time residents of the area recall the days when the village green extended from little bridge to big bridge along Route 15 and then to the banks
of the Lamoille.

In 1950 the state replaced the double bridge with a new span of concrete and steel. The project also diverted the Seymour River away from the highway, saving the State Highway Department the cost of another bridge and leaving Little Bridge without a road.

Info derived from: Joseph C. Nelson’s “Spanning Time – Vermont’s Covered Bridges” published in 1997.

Covered Bridge Map of Cambridge and Jeffersonville, Vermont


Gates Bridge, Cambridge, Vermont, VT Covered Bridges

GATES FARM BRIDGE (LITTLE BRIDGE)

Location:

East side of Cambridge Village, off VT 15 on private road.

GPS:

N44 38.76 W72 52.31

Access:

Bicycle or foot only, do not drive on private road or trespass on farm.

Parking:

Either side of Village Green along VT 15. Do not park on highway.

Restrictions:

Not open to public use by motor vehicles. Please respect private property surrounding bridge.

History:

After the construction of the highway bridge on VT Route 15, the Little Bridge on Gates Farm deteriorated over the years. The state informed Earl Gates that it was his bridge and he had to fix it if he wanted to use it. Gates would have no part of that and told the state that if they hadn’t diverted the Seymour River there wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. The state relented and in 1994 began to restore the bridge to its current status as Gates Farm Bridge.


Cambridge-Junction-Bridge-(5)web

POLAND BRIDGE (STATION BRIDGE)

Location:

2 miles east of Jeffersonville Village, off VT 15 at Bourne Road.

GPS:

N44 39.065 W72 48.876

Access:

Re-entry to VT 15 is hazardous; use Bourne Road for best visibility.

Parking:

LVRT Trailhead provides spaces for passenger vehicles, NOT FOR LARGE TRUCKS, RVs, OR TRAILERS.

Restrictions:

Only one vehicle on bridge at a time, two-way traffic, 10 MPH, 6,000 pounds, 11’ 6” height.

History:

The 140 foot Burr-arch structure spanning the Lamoille River at Cambridge Junction is known as the Cambridge Junction Bridge, the Station Bridge, and the Poland Bridge. Built in 1887 by George Washington Holmes, Jason French and Roscoe Fuller, it once gave towns north of the Lamoille River access to the railroad intersection and station at Cambridge Junction. The right-of-way for the St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad still passes a few yards from the south portal. (Now part of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail)


GristMillBridge

GRIST MILL BRIDGE (BREWSTER RIVER BRIDGE)

Location:

South of Jeffersonville Village, off VT 108 at Canyon Road.

GPS:

N44 38.20 W72 49.53

Access:

Difficult sharp turn on/off VT 108.

Parking:

In the adjacent Brewster River Park, 8am–8:30pm (no parking on opposite side).

Restrictions:

Only one vehicle on bridge at a time, two-way traffic, 10 MPH, 10,000 pounds, 9’ 9” height.

History:

Little is known about the 88 ft. bridge spanning the Brewster River a few hundred yards upstream from the old grist mill. The bridge providing access to southeast Cambridge and the Brewster Uplands Trail System has been called The Grist Mill Bridge, Mill Bridge, Scott Bridge, Bryan Bridge and the Brewster River Bridge. No one knows who built it or when, as there are no public records testifying to events that lead to the building of this bridge. Except for the addition of two wooden joists tie-bolted under the roadway, the structure remains as it was when it was built.