Covered Bridges and Local Interests
New England Covered Bridges
To pay for the construction of a covered bridge, many Vermont towns charged a bridge toll. In the 1800s it was not uncommon to be charged the following bill of fare to cross a covered bridge: A man on foot, 1 cent; A man on horseback, 4 cents; A one-horse carriage, 10 cents; A carriage drawn by more than one horse, 20 cents; Cattle, 1 cent-driver free; Sheep or swine, ½ cent-driver free.
Covered bridge builders used several different types of truss frames in their construction. Even today you will often see a sign at a covered bridge entrance asking horsemen to have their horses cross the bridge at a walk. The reason was not so much to avoid accidents as to keep the bridge from bouncing up and down causing even more damage than an overweight load might do.