“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hamden in Delaware County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Hamden Covered Bridge

Hamden Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
1. Hamden Covered Bridge Marker
For nearly one hundred fifty years, the Hamden Covered Bridge has stood as a testament tot the ingenuity and resilience of both Delaware Country structures and the engineers who built them. The story of the Hamden Covered Bridge’s original construction and subsequent restoration is a fascinating one that should be heard by all residents of our great county.

The Hamden Covered Bridge’s genesis came from the mind of a man named Robert Murray, a Scotsman born in the town of Eskdalmuir in 1814, settled in Bovina, New York, in 1818. Years passed and finally , in the year 1859, Mr. Robert Murray began construction of a covered bridge far from his native Andes. The contract for completion of the bridge was signed on April 17, 1859, between Murray and the Town of Hamden. The original bridge cost was $1,000. While the bridge was being constructed, Murray would walk out to the project site in Hamden from Andes, often ‘boarding out’ the week and returning home on Saturday.

The bridge was a design known as the ‘Long Truss’. Patented by a man named Colonel Stephen H. Long of Hopkinton, New Hampshire. When originally constructed, the
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bridge was a single-span structure approximately 128 feet long. Travelers who moved via horse were especially grateful for the barn-like design of the bridge, for many horses were known to be extremely afraid to cross bodies of water over open bridges; the familiar barn-like setting of the crossing doubtlessly prevented many accidents.

Almost a hundred years passed with no major alterations to the bridge’s structure; in the 1940’s, the bridge underwent an overhaul in which a center pier was installed for greater roof support, making the bridge a double span. A lean to one side of the Hamden bridge was repaired by Delaware County in 1966 with the use of two large supporting buttresses on either side of the bridge. !966 was also the year that the bridge received its ionic coat of red paint.

By the year 2000, though, the covered bridge in Hamden had fallen upon rough times. Although various efforts had been made to restore the bridge to its original 1859 condition from the 1940’s through the 80’s, structural wear and tear had become painfully obvious. W.L. Kline, a construction contractor, received the winning bid to lead the project to restore the Hamden Covered Bridge. On July 19, 2000, the project began as the entire bridge was lifted off its abutments. Although the top chord supporting the bridge snapped and one-third of the entire structure sank into the river,
Hamden Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
2. Hamden Covered Bridge Marker
the damage was not great and the project was soon back on schedule.

The tin roof that had been originally installed by Robert Murray one hundred and forty-one years before was replaced with a stronger steel roof, decayed bottom chords were replaced, and the center pier installed in the 1940s which had made the Hamden Covered Bridge a double-span structure was removed. Other slapdash additions to the bridge made during the 20th century were removed, and the Hamden Covered Bridge was completed to its original glory on November 13, 2000.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. In addition, it is included in the Covered Bridges series list. A significant historical date for this entry is April 17, 1859.
Location. 42° 11.71′ N, 74° 59.37′ W. Marker is in Hamden, New York, in Delaware County. Marker can be reached from New York State Route 10, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hamden NY 13782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. O & W Railroad (here, next to this marker); Hamden (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Hamden Covered Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Town of Hamden (approx. 0.8 miles away); William B. Ogden (approx. 6 miles away); Charles Evans Hughes
Hamden Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
3. Hamden Covered Bridge
(approx. 6.8 miles away); The 144th Regiment (approx. 6.8 miles away); Delaware County Civil War Memorial (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamden.
More about this marker. Andes, NY is about 13 miles to the east of Hamden (On NY 28).
Hamden Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
4. Hamden Covered Bridge
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 145 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 3, 2023