covered bridge

The Covered Bridge

The Newfield Covered Bridge was built in 1851-1853 at a total cost of $800. The bridge crosses the West branch of the Cayuga Inlet and was dedicated to Elijah Moore, who was the son of an early settler. It's 115 feet long and 16 feet wide. The bridge was covered to protect it from natural elements because it's cheaper to replace the roof then to rebuild a new bridge every 20 years. Many of the men who helped to build the bridge have descendents who still live in Newfield today. When the bridge was first built it had solid siding along the length of the bridge, but later diamond-shaped windows were cut to let light in. It's also been said that the town was going to pay $200 to an artist to paint a mural like ones on famous covered bridges in Luzern, Switzerland on the bridge, but the artist died and the committee failed to agree on a replacement and the Civil War ended the decoration plan. In 1969 the bridge was saved from being torn down by Grant and Marie Musser who are known as the "Keepers of the Bridge." There have been two reconstructions of the bridge. The first reconstruction took place in 1972, just in time for Newfield's Sesquicentennial Celebration where the bridge was raised one foot and other replacements of timber were made. The latest reconstruction took place in the spring of 1998 in which the surroundings were beautified, and the banks landscaped. 80% of the funds for the reconstruction came from the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act. The remaining 20% came from the town of Newfield.

early covered bridge

Early photograph of Newfield showing the covered bridge. The sign posted over the entrance to the bridge reminded people to slow their horses as they crossed the bridge.

Historical marker at the site of the covered bridge.
(Photo by G. Emerson)

An inside view of the covered bridge shows the truss work. This style of truss was known as a Town Lattice Truss. (Photo by G. Emerson)

   
   

Content provided by Breanna Grant
(Black & white photos courtesy of the Newfield Historical Society)

Sources:

Finley, George M., et. al. Newfield-- 150 Years, (1822-1972), (Ithaca, NY: Art Craft of Ithaca, Inc., 1972), pp. 35-39; available at the Newfield Historical Society; this provided much of the information about the history of the bridge.

"Newfield Covered Bridge Rededication, August, 8, 1998." This is a pamphlet kept in the files about the Covered Bridge at the Newfield Historical Society.