Lows Covered Bridge
Address: Lows Bridge Road, Guilford, ME 04443
Latitude/Longitude: 45.175537, -69.315078
Adjacent to land once owned by Robert Low who was one of the first people to settle in Guilford Maine sits Lows Covered Bridge. The original bridge was built in 1830 jointly by the neighbouring towns of Sangerville and Guilford for making traveling between the two towns easier for both residents and business owners. In 1832 the bridge was destroyed by a flood, and it was rebuilt. In 1857 it was washed away again in another flood.
That same year a third Lows Covered Bridge was built still crossing the Piscataquis river. Its span was 130′. The granite used in the approach and foundations of the bridge was moved over 7 miles from Guilford Mountain by Issac Wharff using a team of oxen. Leonard Knowlton who was the carpenter for the bridge decided that a patented long truss design was required and used a maths calculation to devise a truss that would look like the letter X. This bridge was a lot stronger than the previous ones and lasted for 130 years until April 1987 when again the bridge was destroyed in another flood.
As soon as the flood waters went back down, plans were put in place to rebuild the landmark bridge yet again. Structural engineers from New York produced a design for the new bridge that was as close a replica to the original bridge as possible as well as making it much stronger and at the same time complying with all the necessary standards and codes.
When the new bridge was finally reconstructed off site, more than 1000 people were there to watch it get rolled into position on Aug 23rd 1990.
The original stone abutments were raised about 3′ to greatly reduce any chance of flood damage. The new improved, stronger Lows Covered bridge was then fixed on top of them and is now a National Historic Landmark.
From the Author: An excellent example of a covered bridge in Maine. Its very big and it has to be strong as when the water comes down after the snow has melted in the mountains, the volumes of water along the Piscataquis river are very high and travel incredibly fast. The truss detail inside the bridge show just what a fine example it is. Well worth a visit on Rt15 between Guilford and Dover Foxcroft
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