Covered Bridges of the Catskills: Delaware County

December 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Delaware County, New York is home to five beautiful covered bridges, including the Downsville Covered Bridge, Hamden Covered Bridge, Fitch’s Covered Bridge, Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge and the Erpf Covered Bridge. The Downsville, Hamden and Fitch’s Covered Bridges are accessible to the public, while the Lower Shavertown bridge is on private property but is viewable from the road, and the Erpf Bridge is on private property and not accessible or viewable by the public. Included below is a photograph as well as a brief informational summary for each bridge. For more photographs of all five bridges visit the Covered Bridges page within the Gallery.

 

Given their proximity, regional visitors can easily visit all four of the publicly accessible bridges in a day tour (and leave time for other attractions along the way). The rolling country fields and hills of Delaware County make for wonderful scenic driving tours.

 

Downsville Covered Bridge

The Downsville Covered Bridge, in Downsville, New York, was constructed in 1854 by Robert Murray, a noted bridge builder.Downsville Covered BridgeDownsville, Delaware County

The Downsville Covered Bridge was constructed in 1854 by Robert Murray, a noted bridge builder. It is 174 feet long and 19 feet wide as it spans the East Branch of the Delaware. It has a deck width of 14 feet 3 inches, a portal height of 12 feet and a portal width of 16 feet 4 inches. The bridge is one lane wide, has a 6-foot clearance, a 3-ton weight limit and a 5 mile per hour speed limit. The bridge, as originally built, utilized local oak and hemlock timber. It originally cost $1,700 to build, which included all the materials as well as the construction. The bridge is an active roadway. After the Blenheim Bridge in Schoharie County was destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 the Downsville Covered Bridge has assumed the mantel of longest covered bridge in New York. The bridge is maintained by the Delaware County Department of Public Works. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also known as: N/A

Located: Downsville, Town of Colchester

Year built: 1854

Truss: Long

Length: 174 feet

Builder: Robert Murray

Spans: East Branch of the Delaware River

Bridge traffic: Vehicle

Listed on National Register: Yes

 

 

Hamden Covered Bridge

The Hamden Covered Bridge is located in the hamlet of Hamden in Delaware County, New York.Hamden Covered BridgeHamden, Delaware County

The historic Hamden Covered Bridge was built in 1859 by Robert Murray at a cost of $1,000. The bridge is a single span, one lane wide and is 128 feet long as it spans the West Branch of the Delaware River. The bridge functioned as a much-needed public crossing point of the river, a function that began for pedestrians, horses and wagons but continues today for automobile traffic. The historic bridge was restored in 2000 at a cost of $558,000. Restoration work included a new roof, bottom chord replacement and vertical post replacement. The Hamden Covered Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also known as: N/A

Located: Hamden, Town of Hamden

Year built: 1859

Truss: Long

Length: 128

Builder: Robert Murray

Spans: West Branch of the Delaware River

Bridge traffic: Vehicle

Listed on National Register: Yes

 

 

Fitch’s Covered Bridge

Fitch’s Covered Bridge in East Delhi, New York was constructed in 1870.Last Light at Fitch's Covered BridgeEast Delhi, Catskills

The historic Fitch’s Covered Bridge was constructed in 1870 by James Frazier and James Warren at a cost of $1,900. The bridge is a single span, one lane wide, constructed using native materials and is 106 feet long as it spans the West Branch of the Delaware River. The bridge was originally located on Kingston Street in Delhi but was moved in 1885 when the town decided to replace the covered bridge with a newer, more durable iron structure. Instead of destroying the relatively new bridge (constructed only 15 years prior), it was moved several miles upstream to its current location. The historic bridge was recently restored in 2001 at a cost of $425,000. Fitches Covered Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Fitch family website, the bridge is named for Dr. Thomas Fitch (1774-1849) and his younger brother Dr. Cornelius Root Fitch (1783-1846). “Thomas bought a farm at the (site of the future) bridge on the river in 1803. When he left Delhi for Philadelphia in 1806, he sold the farm to Cornelius, who continued to practice medicine in Delhi for 33 years.”

Also known as: N/A

Located: Delhi, Town of Delhi

Year built: 1870

Truss: Town Lattice

Length: 106 feet

Builder: James Frazier and James Warren

Spans: West Branch of the Delaware River

Bridge traffic: Vehicle

Listed on National Register: Yes

 

 

Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge

The Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge is located in Methol, Delaware County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Lower Shavertown Covered BridgeMethol, Delaware County

The Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge was constructed in 1877 by Anson Jenkins and Augustus Neidig as a crossing point of the Lower Beech Hill Brook in the hamlet of Shavertown. The covered bridge is named for the Shaver family, including early settlers John and Jacob Shaver, who established the hamlet of Shavertown in 1781. It is 32 feet long, single span, 23 feet wide and utilizes the Town Lattice Truss design. The bridge was originally 42 feet long but was shortened during its 1954 move to its current location. It has a deck width of 13 feet 5 inches, a portal height of 12 feet and a portal width of 12 feet 10 inches. The bridge has also been known as the Campbell Bridge or the Old Roscoe Bridge. It was originally located in the Town of Andes in Delaware County. The Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also known as: Campbell Covered Bridge, Old Roscoe Covered Bridge, Methol Covered Bridge

Located: Methol, Town of Hancock

Year built: 1877, moved to present location in 1954

Truss: Stringer with Town Lattice appearance

Length: 32 feet

Builder: Anson Jenkins and Augustus Neidig

Spans: Trout Brook

Bridge traffic: Vehicle

Listed on National Register: Yes

 

Please note that the Lower Shavertown Covered Bridge is on private property, although it may be viewed from roadside.

 

 

Erpf Covered Bridge

Also known as: N/A

Located: Arkville, Town of Middletown

Year built: 1964

Truss: Town Lattice

Length: 32 feet

Builder: Seager Fairburn

Spans: Brook

Bridge traffic: Pedestrian

Listed on National Register: No

 

Please note that the Erpf Covered Bridge is on private property and is not accessible.

 


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