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Field Trip to the Contoocook Railroad Bridge

Saturday, July 29, 2023,
10:00 am
to 11:00 am

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A black and white photograph of a covered railroad bridge. (photo: National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges)

Built in 1889, the Contoocook Railroad Bridge is the oldest surviving covered railroad bridge in the world. Join Bill Caswell, President of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, and Kim Varney Chandler, author of Covered Bridges of New Hampshire, for an interactive tour of this historic double-town lattice truss bridge. With Bill and Kim as our guides, we’ll learn about the bridge’s 134-year history and the efforts that led to its preservation. Dress for the weather and conditions, including biting insects.

10 to 11 a.m. at the Contoocook Railroad Bridge in Hopkinton. Exact meeting location will be provided upon registration. Space is limited, and registration is required.

For general information about Harris Center field trips, including questions about accessibility, see our Outings Information page. For questions about this particular outing, contact Susie Spikol.

Bill Caswell graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1984 and became interested in covered bridges upon starting a job with New Hampshire DOT shortly thereafter. In 2003, he co-founded a research project, the “Covered Spans of Yesteryear” (, which has documented more than 14,000 wood truss bridges. Bill has also authored Connecticut and Rhode Island Covered Bridges (2011) and the most recent edition of the World Guide to Covered Bridges (2021). He is actively involved in a number of covered bridge organizations, including serving as the newsletter editor, historian, vice president, and, since 2014, president of the non-profit National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. He and his wife, Jennifer, have visited most of the standing covered bridges in the United States and Canada.

Kim Varney Chandler is the author of Covered Bridges of New Hampshire, published by Peter E. Randall in 2022. She is a two-time graduate of the University of New Hampshire (‘91, ‘96G), where her love of history began in Professor Charles Clark’s classroom in Horton Hall. She has been researching ever since. Kim lives in Hancock with her husband, Marshell, and Pemi the Hiking Therapy Dog.


Saturday, July 29, 2023
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Events Category:


Hopkinton, NH 03229 United States


Susie Spikol
(603) 525-3394