Hartland Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada

Hartland, New Brunswick
Entrance to the Hartland Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada, 1987. © Parks Canada Agency /Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
Entrance
© Parks Canada Agency /Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
Entrance to the Hartland Covered Bridge National Historic Site of Canada, 1987. © Parks Canada Agency /Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.Location of plaque near the bridge © Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 2008 (Dan Pagé)
Address : Route 105, south east side of bridge, Hartland, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1977-11-17
Dates:
  • 1921 to 1921 (Construction)

Other Name(s):
  • Hartland Covered Bridge  (Designation Name)

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque:  Route 105, south east side of bridge, Hartland, New Brunswick

This structure, 390.75 metres long, is by far the longest covered bridge extant in the world. Covered bridges date from the first decade of the 19th century when North American builders began using wooden trusses for long spans and covered them to prevent the truss joints from rotting. After 1840 the Howe truss, which introduced iron tension rods into the truss work, was widely adopted and New Brunswick erected numerous bridges using this technique, among them this one which was built in 1921 with the walkway being added in 1945.

Description of Historic Place

A striking feature in the New Brunswick landscape is the Hartland Covered Bridge, the largest of its kind in the world. Its massive concrete piers support a long, enclosed wooden bridge, held up by Howe trusses. The bridge offers protected crossing of the Saint John River at the Village of Hartland. The designation refers to the bridge structure and cladding on its piers.

Heritage Value

Hartland Covered Bridge was designated a national historic site of Canada because this structure is the longest covered bridge extant in the world.

The heritage value of this site resides in its design and physical fabric. The structure, 390.75 metres long, is believed to be by far the longest covered bridge extant in the world. Covered bridges date from the first decade of the 19th century when North American buildings began using wooden trusses for long spans and covered them to prevent the truss joins from rotting. After 1840 the Howe truss, which introduced iron tension rods into the truss work, was widely adopted and New Brunswick erected numerous bridges using this technique, among them this one, built in 1921 with a walkway added in 1943.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1977 and November 1979.

Character-Defining Elements

Aspects of this site which contribute to its heritage values include the features of a long covered bridge, namely its: construction design utilizing the Howe truss, in combination with wood framing, vertical weatherboarding and gabled roof, concrete piers and abutments, appended pedestrian walkway, wood shingle arched openings at either end and openings along its length, electrical lighting, and, relationship with the river, roads and shoreline.