Montpelier — Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis recently announced the designation of nine new National Historic Landmarks, among them Vermont’s Brown Bridge in Rutland County. Jewell said, “By designating these new national landmarks, we ensure that America’s history and innovation, vision and diversity are celebrated today and for future generations.” Noelle MacKay, Vermont’s commissioner of housing and community development, remarked, “We are appreciative of the efforts of the National Park Service, which maintains programs like the National Historic Landmark, National Register of Historic Places and tax credit programs that support and encourage the preservation and livability of Vermont’s downtowns, villages, and historic resources, thereby ensuring our past is celebrated today.”
Built in 1880, Brown Bridge is an outstanding example of a Town lattice truss, patented by architect Ithiel Town in 1820 and 1835. Approximately 110 historic Town lattice truss covered bridges survive throughout the United States, with some of the finest examples in Vermont. Brown Bridge is also notable as the best surviving example of the work of Nichols M. Powers, a prolific New England covered bridge builder who lived in Clarendon. The bridge’s unusual slate roof and the northwest abutment, which includes a huge natural boulder, illustrate how 19th-century builders made use of indigenous materials. Of the approximately 690 historic covered bridges surviving in the United States, Brown Bridge stands out as an exceptionally fine example of covered bridge construction and preservation. Vermont’s State Historic Preservation Officer Laura Trieschmann added, “National recognition of Brown Bridge highlights the rich history of Vermont’s covered bridges, augmenting our understanding of bridge construction and enhancing our historic preservation legacy.”
The full nomination and pictures of the Brown Bridge can be found at accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/preservation/resources/national_register.
To learn more about the National Historic Landmarks Program, which is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, visit www.nps.gov.