Covered Bridges by Darlene Franklin

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a book.

Darlene’s giving away two books today. Wild West Christmas and  Beacon of Love. We’ll draw a winner at the end of the day.red-bridge-1

 

The first covered bridge in America was built over the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania in 1805. The idea caught on, and soon covered bridges abounded. The barn-like design appealed to farmers for their familiarity and for the ease they offered horses afraid of rushing water beneath. Their most practical feature, of course, was protecting the wooden trusses from the elements. Diary of an Early American Boy by Eric Sloane (from 1805) provides detailed instruction on how to build a covered bridge for anyone interested. 

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The bridges became known as “kissing bridges”—with a long bridge, a slow horse, and a willing girl, suitors could steal two kisses during the crossing. Is it any wonder that I chose a covered bridge to tie together my Vermont historical series for Heartsong Presents?

 

Covered bridges served as a public billboard and gathering place—not to mention a great place to hide weapons. Militias drilled on bridges; bootleggers hid their whiskey there. Communities gathered for square dances in the shade of a bridge.

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The earliest authenticated covered bridge in Vermont dates from 1824. Now Vermont has more of them per square mile still in existence than any other state: 107. Pennsylvania has the most total bridges.

darlene-head-shotwild_west_christmas_-_image1Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin finds much of the inspiration for her stories in her native New England, although she now lives in cowboy country, Oklahoma. The first of her Vermont romances, Prodigal Patriot, will be published next May by the Heartsong Presents bookclub.  Her most recent titles are Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter in A Wild West Christmas and Beacon of Love, a story inspired by the the Point Judith lighthouse in Rhode Island during the great gale of 1816.

http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/ 

 

 

Guest Blogger
Updated: November 10, 2009 — 3:46 pm

34 Comments

  1. Beautiful pictures, Darlene! We have some interesting old covered bridges in Maritime Canada too. I’ll bet they could tell some stories if walls could talk.

  2. Brings to mind The Bridges of Madisen County. My goodness, I cried my head off over that stupid book. 🙂

  3. I love covered bridges. I am a postcard collector, I collect all kinds but along with my lighthouse collection I have a covered bridge collection. I didn’t realize there were that many of them until I started collecting them.

  4. I love covered bridges and will go out of my way to see one. I would love to be a winner of this book.

  5. I live in Virginia, and there is a historic covered bridge, “Humpback Bridge”, not too far from my home. I loved your post with the bridge pictures!

  6. Hi! Great pictures of the bridges. I haven’t seen any in years around where I live in Ontario, so it was nice seeing them again. Thanks!

  7. Hello Darlene,

    The pictures of the covered bridges are beautiful. I haven’t been on one in years. Thanks for the contest. Have a great day.

  8. Hi Darlene,

    Welcome to P&P. We’re delighted to have you. Love your blog subject. Covered bridges are so neat. I’m glad you could incorporate them into your story. That’s great. I can see why you’d use them. Hope you have a wonderful time with us and want to come back soon.

  9. Avatar

    We have roamed New England finding some wonderful covered bridges. Have found the in VA and other states also. Hadn’t heard about using them for square dances before. Always wanted property with a stream so we would have an excuse to build our very own bridge. Had neighbors who had a pond with a small island in the middle. They build a covered bridge out to it. Very nice and charming.
    I look forward to reading some of your books.

  10. Hi Darlene,

    The pictures of the covered bridges are just beautiful. It reminds me of one of the “Little House on the Prairie” scenes.
    I think the way you incorporate them into your stories are just wonderful

    Your books are on my list to read, they sound wonderful.

    Walk in harmony,

    Melinda

  11. Hi Darlene,

    What a great post I love the pictures of your covered bridges. I was raised in a small community called High Bridge, which had the highest railroad bridge in the US. It crosses over the KY river. In this community the people always got together for different functions. It was always a fun time. Your neighbors where your family and everyone new each other.

  12. Welcome to the Junction, Darlene. The pictures are so lovely and bring back so many memories of our trip to New England. We found some amazing covered bridges in New Hampshire. I took about a thousand pix of the Blair Bridge. People get to live right next door to it. As fantastic as Disneyland.

    Congrats on the book. Can’t wait for it! oxoxoxox

  13. What a lovely post and the photos are extraordinary. Your books sounds special and wonderful. Best wishes for continued success, health and happiness.

  14. Wow, what beautiful pics… Thanks for a wonderful post and a chance to win your books! 😀

  15. Wow, I got up late today (after all, it IS Saturday), but 14 posts already!

    A disclaimer: I didn’t take the pictures myself, but aren’t they lovely! Took me back in time to my childhood in New England. I don’t recall seeing any covered bridges out here in the West (Colorado and Oklahoma).

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

  16. Oh wow! What nice pictures:) Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks so much!!

  17. I would love to be entered in your drawing please? These pictures are gorgeous! We have a covered bride near us in Il. Thanks!

  18. the pictures of the covered bridges are beautiful…I enjoyed your post…thanks for the opportunity to read your masterpieces 🙂

  19. I love covered bridges. Thanks for the added info on them that I did not know.

    I look forward to reading your books.

    merian
    Mary Ann Chidlow

  20. those are vert pretty bridges, I don’t remember ever crossing on ones like that.

  21. I love the fact that they are called ‘kissing bridges’; that is cute. Two kisses long, very interesting.
    thanks for sharing and I am reminded, like another commentor, of the movie The Bridges of Madison County upon seeing your pictures.

    yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

  22. I love covered bridges!! I live in rural Illinois, not far from Indiana where they have the Covered Bridge Festival every year. I would love to be entered in the drawing!

  23. These are gorgeous pictures! Whenever we would visit friends in Pennsylvania we would find lots of these throughout the Amish community in Lancaster County. I felt so thrilled being able to travel over them.

  24. Enjoyed reading your article and seeing the great photos. they don’t have covered bridges where I live so this was nice.

  25. Please enter me! Beautiful pictures and good post!
    Thanks.
    jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

  26. I love covered bridges. There is one about 20 miles from where I live. It is no longer in use, but is called Sandy Creek Covered Bridge Wayside.

  27. Wild West Christmas and Beacon of Love both sounds wonderful.Gorgeous pictures. Great post. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you.

  28. I love covered bridges. Many of them have character.

    Please enter me in the book giveaway. Thanks.
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  29. Enjoyed reading the comments. The covered bridges look nice and would make a great scene for an oil painting.

  30. The pics are beautiful. Thanks for the info. Please enter me. Blessings.

  31. Those pictures are beautiful. I live in California and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a covered bridge. I would love to be entered in your drawing.
    mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net
    Thank you.

  32. Our city, Pittsburgh, is known for the most bridges – 40 + but of course those aren’t covered bridges although as you mentioned PA had the first and does have quite a few. Love your pics of some nice ones. Thanks for a chance to win one of two books:)

  33. When I lived up North I saw a lot of covered bridges,they are espically beautiful when they are covered with snow,thanks for being here an would love to be entered for the drawing,thanks

  34. I have been wanting to go a covered bridge hunt. I love to look at pictures of them. I would love a chance to win one of your books your giving away.

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