COVERED BRIDGES OF EAST CREEK
There are no covered bridges left on East Creek now but once there were four all built by the same man, Nicholas Powers of Piffsford. He was born n 1817 on a farm southwest of Pittsford and served his bridge building apprenticeship under Abraham Owen of the same town. Before age 21 young Powers contracted to put a covered bridge over Furnace Brook at Pittsford Mills.
Ninefy-six years later the bridge was strong enough to Support a twenty-ton steam roller operated by state road builders who came to replace the span With a concrete structure. This Pittsford bridge made his reputation end in the next dozen years or so he constructed bridges across Otter Creek, East Creek and Cold River. He favored the Town Lattice truss, using spruce and hemlock.
TWIN BRIDGES – (crossing at the farm of Ernest McKirryher) built by Nicholas Powers. The first span was built in 1849. The following spring the creek cut around the bridge. Powers convinced the Selectmen that another span would accommodate the changing course of the creek. The second span was built in 1850. They were 50 and 60 feet long. The flood of 1947 swept one span away, the other was salvaged and moved to the east side of the Chittenden Road where it now houses road equipment.
LESTER BRIDGE (crossing at the farm of Sherwin Williams) It was built by Nicholas Powers around 1845, a fine example of Town Lattice truss work with crisscrossing pattern of planks framing the sides. A simple and strong method of bracing a bridge, it was the most expensive because it required more lumber than others. It had no mortises or tenons and called only for ordinary planking.
MILL VILLAGE BRIDGE – (crossing at Ted Hendees garage) another 70 foot long Powers bridge. If saw many times of high water supported on ifs abutments of stone slabs laid dry without any cement. If was swept away in the 1947 flood. We do not know the year of its construction.
OLD “76” BRIDGE – (crossing at the Rutland Golf Course) built in 1876 by Powers, a 70 foot span. Many stories surround its secluded setting. In 1908 an Italian laborer was lured into the bridge by a local woman where her companion murdered and robbed him. The bridge had undergone recent restoration when the 1947 flood demolished it.