25 January 2017

Montgomery - Blackpoint Road Covered Bridge

The evening of July 19, 1921 was a tough one for Somerset County, NJ bridges. Fierce thunderstorms and ensuing floods of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers destroyed at least five bridges. It was almost six.

Barely escaping, but much damaged, was the old covered bridge which spanned the Neshanic River on Montgomery-Blackpoint Road in the Montgomery section of Hillsborough Township. 


Montgomery-Blackpoint Rd. Covered Bridge, from a very wrinkled photograph.


Yes, Hillsborough once had a second covered bridge - and for a brief time on that July evening, we had a third! The raging torrent that was the Neshanic River through Hunterdon and Somerset Counties ripped the small covered bridge at the Rainbow Hill Road crossing from it's moorings and sent it careening two miles downstream to the Montgomery Bridge.




As was reported two days later in The Courier News:

There the wreckage jammed up against the piers and sides of the bridge, which is considerably damaged and warped by the pressure from the Hunterdon County structure.

The Montgomery bridge, built in 1832, was repaired and put back into service for seven more years. a contract worth $24,000 was awarded on June 15, 1928 for removal and replacement of the bridge.

South Branch Covered Bridge circa 1907

The South Branch Covered Bridge survived the 1921 floods, but even after undergoing extensive renovation in 1924, couldn't be saved and was removed and replaced in 1929.

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