Skip to main content

Gilsum Stone Arch Bridge

Heading north on NH State Route 10 from Keene is the Cheshire County town of Gilsum. Chartered in 1763 to the Gilbert and Sumner families, one of the things that Gilsum is best known for is its stone arch bridge over the Ashuelot River, which was built in 1863 without the use of mortar. With an arch that averages 36'-6" above the river, the Gilsum Stone Arch Bridge has the highest vault of any dry laid bridge in the State of New Hampshire.

A historical plaque greets visitors to the bridge and gives a little background about its history.

View of the bridge from the western bank of the Ashuelot River, which gives you a good idea of the height of the bridge.

Another view of the bridge that crosses the Ashuelot. I find the arch to be rather impressive.
View of Surry Rd., which is the thoroughfare that the bridge carries in modern times. At the end of Surry Rd. is NH 10.

View of the Ashuelot River gorge, looking south from the bridge.

View of the Ashuelot River gorge, looking north from the bridge.


Gilsum is also home of the Gilsum Rock Swap and is the town where the mother of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon faith, was born.

Sources and Links:
Bridgehunter - Gilsum Stone Arch Bridge 
Roadside History: Gilsum Stone Arch Bridge
American Whitewater - Ashuelot River
Gilsum Recreation Committee - Town of Gilsum, New Hampshire 
Ware Family Association - Gilsum, New Hampshire

How to Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…

2018 Mojave Road Trip Part 2; The deadly desert highway (California State Route 127 and Nevada State Route 373)

After leaving Barstow via Old Highway 58 my next destination was in Death Valley.  To access Death Valley from rural San Bernardino County required a trek on north on Interstate 15 to California State Route 127 which becomes Nevada State Route 373 at the state line.


Along I-15 I encountered the road sign oddity that is Zzyzx Road about eight miles south of Baker.   Zzyzx Road is a four mile road that used to go to the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa.   The spa was founded in the 1940s and the owner made up the name "Zzyzx" to claim it was the last word in the English Language.  The spa has been shut down since the 1970s and is now part of a Desert Studies Center for California State University.






The southern terminus of CA 127 in Baker is located at I-15 exit 246.  CA 127 is a 91 mile north/south highway which runs to the Nevada State Line in Inyo County.  CA 127 is called Death Valley Road from I-15 northward.  South of CA 127 the road continues as Kelbaker Road which c…