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Showing posts from March, 2017

Mt. Equinox Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive - which leads to the top of Mt. Equinox near Manchester, Vermont - is one of the numerous scenic drives within the Green Mountain State.  The 5.2 mile privately owned toll road is like a mini-Blue Ridge Parkway offering amazing vistas of the Taconic, Green, White, Adirondack and Berkshire mountain ranges.  Extremely popular in the Fall and a break from the heat in the Summer, this road is a well-visited tourist attraction.
The highway dates back to the 1940s when it was built and developed by Joseph George Davidson - the former President and Chairman of Union Carbide.  Davidson purchased over 7,000 acres of land in the late 30s that included Equinox Mountain.  He began to build and develop the road just prior to World War II.  After the end of the war, he re-started construction of the road and it opened in 1948.  Davidson would consider building a ski resort and other items on the mountain before forging a relationship with the Carthusian Order of the Roman Catholic Ch…

Arlington Green Covered Bridge

The Arlington Green Covered Bridge in Arlington, Vermont is a rather simple bridge and for the most part is the typical red covered bridge you'd find in New England or anywhere else.  However, if you turn off VT 313 and cross over the Batten Kill River through the bridge there's a little more interest.  The Inn on Covered Bridge Green sits just beyond the Arlington Green Bridge.  This historic structure was built in 1792 and was one the home of Norman Rockwell from 1943-1954.  It is now a Bed & Breakfast.

The Arlington Green Bridge - which also is known as the Bridge at The Green - crosses the Batten Kill River.  The Town Lattice design bridge was built in 1852.  The bridge is 80 feet in length.  The bridge was heavily damaged during flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Irene in 2011.  It was repaired and re-opened a few months later.

The bridge, despite the sign in the photo below, is a popular swimming spot and the stone abutments are often used for jumping into the …

Eagleville Covered Bridge

Typically when you have a feature of a covered bridge, the first photo is of the bridge itself in a rather scenic setting - possibly one Bob Ross would paint. Editors Note: He didBut for the Eagleville Bridge in Washington County, New York - I've decided to lead with a photo of two kids jumping from the bridge into the Batten Kill below.  For decades, the bridge has been a popular spot in the summer to cool down.  It wasn't until a rehabilitation project of the Eagleville Bridge in 2007 that the door was closed - and the bridge jumping ceased. 

The Eagleville Bridge has crossed the Batten Kill River in Washington County since 1858.  The bridge incorporates a town lattice design and has a length of 101 feet.  The bridge is one of four remaining bridges in the county.

In March of 1977, the bridge was nearly destroyed from flooding along the Batten Kill.  The flood caused the east abutment to collapse causing the bridge to collapse into the river. The structure withstood maj…

Buskirk Bridge

Buskirk Bridge in Upstate New York is the only covered bridge in New York that connects two counties - Washington and Rensselaer.  The bridge which was built in 1857 is a 160 foot Howe Truss design that crosses the Hoosic River.  Buskirk is one of four remaining covered bridges in Washington County.

In 2004-05, the bridge was completely rehabilitated re-opening in the Spring of 2005.  Unfortunately, it did not take long for overheight trucks to do damage at the entrances to the bridge. The bridge is one of the more popular covered bridges in both counties as there is ample parking on the Rensselaer side of the bridge.

The bridge is named after the van Buskirk family that lived nearby.  The Buskirk Bridge is the third crossing of the Hoosic River at this site since 1804.  The first bridge lasted all of eight years when it was replaced.  The Buskirk Bridge itself has survived many storms, floods, and ice flows in its over 150 years of existence. (1)


Bridge Specs(2):
Number: 32-58-04Desig…

Tipperary Hill Traffic Signal

In a quiet neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, Tipperary Hill is home of the famous upside down traffic light. The traffic light is a tribute to the strong Irish heritage in the Syracuse area, but there is a deeper story behind why the green light is on top and the red light is on the bottom of the traffic signal. The first traffic light at the corner of Milton Avenue and Tompkins Street was supposedly put up in 1925 with a green light on top as a salute to the Irish, as requested by a city alderman (1). Eventually, the City of Syracuse decided to put the red light on top of the traffic signal, which gave some locals fits. The local children saw this as a blow to their Irish heritage, as red on top equaled supporting the British in their minds. They took matters into their own hands, throwing stones at the red light whenever the city put up a red light on top. After a while, the city relented and allowed the green light to return to the traffic light. 

Even with all the stories of yo…

Starrucca Viaduct

Even older than the Tunkhannock Viaduct is the Starrucca Viaduct, built in 1848. Located in the far northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Lanesboro, this impressive bridge carried the New York and Erie Railroad over a valley as well as the Starrucca Creek and is currently the oldest stone arch railroad in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1). An engineering marvel of its time, and even in today's world, the 1080 foot length, 100 foot height and 25 foot width (2) of the viaduct is simply spectacular. Using local materials such as Pennsylvania bluestone, the Starrucca Viaduct has stood the test of time.With a price estimated at $325,000 in 1848 dollars, the bridge was one of the largest and costliest stone arch railroad bridges built in America at its time (3) . However, the very material that made it expensive to build gave the Starrucca Viaduct much durabilitycompared to other viaducts built in that era.

I've happened to check out the Starrucca Viaduct on a few occasions sin…

Moving an Old Church

While seeing such things as manufactured homes and wind power turbines may be a common sight on the highways and byways, seeing an old, historic New England church being moved on a road would probably cause you to do a double take. After all, it's not often that you're driving down the road and you see a church moving along on a truck in the opposite direction. A number of years ago, I had received a set of photos from David Slauenwhite that he took back in October 1985 of a church being moved from Orange, Massachusetts to New Salem, Massachusetts. The church was actually moved once before, from the former town of Prescott, Massachusetts as a result of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. As you can tell, it was quite the popular church that day, with curious bystanders checking out the church.



Today, the church is now known as the Prescott Museum and is part of the Swift River Museum located in North New Salem, Massachusetts, a collection of historic buildings and artifacts …

Tunkhannock Viaduct

No matter who you are, or when it was, the first time you see the 100 year old Tunkhannock Viaduct, you are completely amazed.  The reinforced concrete arch bridge - which towers 240 feet over the Tunkhannock Creek and town of Nicholson below - magnificently rises over the valley, but at the same time carries an artistic grace from an era gone by.

The 2,375 foot long bridge was the key part of a 39.6 mile relocation of the then Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western Railroad.  Construction of the viaduct began in May of 1912.  Concrete for the structure would be first poured in January of 1913.  The bridge - which consists of ten 180 foot arches and two 100' partially filled abutment arches - was dedicated on November 6, 1915.  The bridge piers were sunk to bedrock, which in some cases was as much as 138 feet below ground.  To build the viaduct, it took 1,140 tons of steel and 167,000 cubic tons of concrete. (1)

The bridge - which at the time was described by some as "The Eighth W…