May 26, 2003 - Gone! While surveying the covered bridges a few weeks ago in Westford, Fairfax, Cambridge and Montgomery, this writer was stunned to see vacant abutments where Montgomery's Hectorville Bridge has stood since 1899.
According to the Town Clerk the bridge had been taken down sometime in October, 2002. It's trusses and roof have been put into storage. The town had hired a consultant three years ago to advise them on the condition of the bridge, and the Select Board has been considering action.
Last fall, the consultant¹ advised the town that the bridge was unlikely to survive heavy snows and the bridge was taken down. While the bridge is owned by the town, The Montgomery Historical Society is very much involved in preserving the bridge.
A Select Board meeting is scheduled in late June to decide what is to be done with the bridge. Relocation at a new site on the town walking path beside the Trout River is one likely candidate.
While the Gibou Road site is an exceptionally beautiful one, featuring a pool and a waterfall, it is too far from the population center and the retired bridge has been the target of vandals.
The bridge was originally built in Montgomery Village in 1883 by Savanna and Sheldon Jewett and was moved over the South Branch of the Trout River in 1899 to serve Gibou Road and a tub factory now long gone. The bridge was ultimately bypassed with a concrete and steel span.
The truss began to fail, probably in the 1950s, and a jury rig was added to the truss in the form of inverted "Vs" with steel cables attached to a log slung under the floor.
1. A correction has been made to the above text. An engineer hired by the Historical Society advised that the bridge would fail under snow load, not "someone from the State Historic Division". I apologize for the error - Ed.