Documenting North America's past & present covered bridges


Harlow's Railroad, Washington County

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Inventory Number: VT/45-12-63x
County: Washington County
Township: Northfield
Bridge Name: Harlow's Railroad
Crosses: Dog River
Truss type: Burr Deck
Spans: 2
Length: 288'
Roadway Width:
When Lost: 1869
Latitude: N44 07.07
Longitude: W072 40.39
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Per Report of the Investigating Committee of the Vermont Central Railroad Company to the Stockholders, July 1, 1853, the bridge was known as Harlow and was a 2-span 288-foot Burr, Deck. The Harlow bridge accident occurred Dec. 11, 1867, in which 15 men were killed and 37 wounded. All were bridge builders and workmen employed by the Vermont Central Railroad. The bridge had been burned three days before, and the men were engaged in erecting a trestlework to replace it. They took their meals in Northfield, and were returning to their work in a car which was backed down to the spot by an engine. The engineer, Frank Abbott, forgot that the bridge was out, and did not check his engine until close upon the chasm. Suddenly realizing the danger, he reversed in time to save the engine but the coupling broke, and the car and the tender were shot over the abutment and fell 70 feet to the frozen ground below.
Report of the Investigating Committee of the Vermont Central Railroad Company to the Stockholders, July 1, 1853

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