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Best's Covered Bridge
Best's Covered Bridge is located in Vermont
Best's Covered Bridge
Location in Vermont
Best's Covered Bridge is located in the United States
Best's Covered Bridge
Location in the United States
Location About 8 miles (13 km) west of Windsor village, Churchill Road S. of Vermont Route 44, West Windsor, Vermont
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
NRHP reference No. 73000210
Added to NRHP July 2, 1973

Best's Covered Bridge (aka Swallow's Bridge) is a historic covered bridge in West Windsor, Vermont, that carries Churchill Road over Mill Creek, just south of Vermont Route 44. Built in 1889, it is an architecturally distinctive laminated arch structure with a post-and-beam superstructure. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Description and history

Best's Covered Bridge is located about 8 miles (13 km) west of Windsor's village center, just south of VT 44 on Churchill Road. It is a single-span laminated arch structure, with a total length of 37 feet (11 m) and a roadway width of 12.5 feet (3.8 m) (one lane). It rests on stone abutments. The arch is formed out of five layers of planking that have been laminated and bolted together. The floor stringers are supported by iron suspension rods descending from the arches, which are complemented by wooden posts rising above the arches. The arches are protected by a post-and-beam frame structure, its exterior clad in vertical boarding, with a metal roof overhead.

The bridge was built in 1889 by Stephen F. Hammond (1836–1913), a local wheelwright from Brownsville. Some sources state that Amasa W. Swallow (1829–1894) built the bridge, an error that may have originated in a misreading of the 1889 town report. Documentary evidence suggests that the notation, "new covered bridge by Amasa W. Swallow," is actually a reference to the bridge's location.

The bridge's names come from Amasa W. Swallow, who owned the adjacent farm in the 1880s, and William Edgar Best (1869–1971), who in 1896, two years after Swallow's death, purchased the property.

The laminated arch construction is unusual for 19th-century bridges in Vermont, but is well suited for use on a short crossing on a lightly traveled road.

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