As fall foliage season draws near, you may want to plan a visit to some of Vermont’s most beloved landmarks: our famous covered bridges.
Other states have covered bridges too, but we have greater density and greater variety than anywhere else, and every one is a treasure. Not only do they have a range of structural trusses to interest the craftsmen, but there are often good swimming holes and fishing spots underneath.
They come with good stories too. In Montgomery, a town blessed with eight covered bridges, several still have old signs warning, “Horses at a Walk.” There was a local man who owned a pair of very lively horses, and he loved to clatter through the bridge at a gallop, terrorizing neighbors coming the other way. At last he was hauled before a judge who fined him $5. He gave the judge a $10 bill and said, “Keep the change, I’m going back over that bridge in about fifteen minutes.”
We have a covered bridge next to our store in Rockingham known as “The Kissing Bridge,” and visitors often ask why. It’s an old tradition from the horse-and-buggy days, when a boy would stop halfway across a covered bridge where it was quiet to give his girl a kiss. Old-timers used to call all covered bridges “kissing bridges” and somehow the name stuck to ours.
We can assure you that there’s still plenty of kissing going on under the roof of our bridge. If you are in the area, we hope you’ll do your part to keep this tradition going strong.
For The Orton family
Proprietors of The Vermont Country Store