Archive | Under covered bridges

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Archives | Under the covered bridges

Meech Creek Covered Bridge in Outaouais, It's worth the detour 2005.

At the time of colonization (1840-1950), Quebec had more than 1000 covered bridges on its territory. Today there are less than 80. Witnesses to our rural history, the “red bridges” or “kissing bridges” as the English called them, still fascinate today. Our archive reports are interested in their history.

Covered bridges give a particular cachet to certain landscapes of our countryside. Both romantic and mysterious, they attract tourists who, during a crossing, see themselves transported to another century.

These infrastructures are present in Europe, especially in Switzerland , from the time of the Middle Ages and China was building them more than 2000 years ago.

In America, it was in 1805 that the first covered bridge was built over above the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia.

In 1978, there were only 115 covered bridges left throughout Quebec, which numbered in the thousands in la belle province at the start of the 20th century. The Government of Quebec decides to act to try to protect these heritage assets.

The disappearance of covered bridges is explained by the lack of maintenance, vandalism and their replacement by modern structures.

On July 10, 1978, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Transport of Quebec to protect some forty of these bridges.

Danièle Bombardier presents a report on the interdepartmental agreement concerning the conservation and protection of covered bridges concluded between the Minister of Cultural Affairs and the Minister of Transport. This aimed to protect 44 covered bridges out of the 115 inventoried at the time. The newscast is hosted by Paul-Émile Tremblay.

Journalist Danièle Bombardier reports on This evening on this interdepartmental agreement concerning the conservation and protection of covered bridges.

The agreement allows the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to classify the bridges and grant subsidies to municipalities for their conservation. Municipalities can transfer them to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for a nominal sum and it is then the Ministry of Transport that carries out the maintenance and restoration of the covered bridges.

Despite everything, the law was never promulgated and, ten years later, the number of bridges dropped to 110.

On December 31, 1989, Gabi Drouin presented at La Semaine verte a report that retraces the history of covered bridges in Quebec.

At the time, the Estrie region was particularly pampered and had 21 preserved covered bridges.

Report journalist Gabi Drouin which retraces the history of covered bridges in Quebec. Interview with historian Michel Lessard.

The journalist speaks with historian Michel Lessard who explains why bridges were covered.

An uncovered wooden bridge has a lifespan of about 10 years, whereas the covered bridge can withstand more than 150 years. The decks were covered to protect them from freezing and thawing, rain and wind.

It is wrong to believe that it was to protect them from snow. In winter, snow was even spread on the apron to allow horse sleighs to slide there.

Most covered bridges in Quebec are of the Town Lattice type, named after the architect Ithiel Town. The planks used, generally cedar, are all connected at the intersections using wooden dowels.

The bridges are built of wood first for the sake of economy. Wealthier communities in the mid-19th century built their bridges out of iron.

Report by Julie Huard on the history of covered bridges in Quebec. Interview with Michel Prévost, of the Outaouais Historical Society and Chief Archivist of the University of Ottawa.

As historian Michel Prévost explains to journalist Julie Huard, who is also interested in covered bridges for a report aired on the show It's worth detouron December 3, 2005, the red color is also explained for economic reasons.

Villagers painted the bridges with a mixture of ox blood and oil. As many of these bridges were built during the era of Liberal prime ministers Gouin, then Taschereau, some people mistakenly believed that the choice of red was a political choice.

The bridges could be used as a display place to announce public markets, events, popular fairs, auctions and political assemblies.

The longest covered bridge in the world is located in New- Braunschweig. The Hartland Bridge, which crosses the Saint John River between Hartland and Somerville, is 391 meters long.

In Quebec, covered bridges are closely linked to colonization. The structures were built during the development of new roads when streams and rivers stood in the way.

If bridges are an eloquent page in our history, today they represent major tourist attractions.

Report by journalist Claude Fortin on the reconstruction of a covered bridge in Amqui in the Matapédia Valley. Interview with Gaétan Ruest, Mayor of Amqui.

February 9, 2005 at Téléjournal de l'Est-du-Québec, journalist Claude Fortin presents a report on the rescue and restoration of a covered bridge.

The Beauséjour bridge in Saint -Odile-de-Rimouski, originally built in 1932, was abandoned for many years before the mayor of Amqui decided to save it to transport it to his city where the covered bridge of L'Anse-Saint- Jean already exists.

The restoration and enhancement project mobilizes part of the community. At Pierre-et-Maurice-Gagné park in Amqui, it is now possible to admire the Beauséjour bridge as a pedestrian or cyclist. Which makes the former mayor very proud.

“We just saved a covered bridge. If the bridge had been destroyed, a whole section of the history of a Quebec region would have disappeared with it. »

— Gaétan Ruest, mayor of Amqui from 1998 to 2017

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