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Bates Avenue Bridge
Built without mortar or cut stones, Putnam's Bates Avenue bridge is an untouched example of
traditional stone-arch construction at its most basic. It shows how a rural Connecticut stonemason
could make a strong and serviceable bridge simply by using flat fieldstones.
• Bates Avenue over Little Dam Tavern Brook
• Stone arch
• Length: 16'
• Built c. 1840
Stone arches are generally found on a town's more important roads and near mill ponds, where sudden
floods could destroy less durable bridges. Bates Avenue is a minor road today, but it once served
as the main road between Pomfret Factory (as Putnam was known before it became a separate town) and
Thompson. In the 1840s textile manufacturer Hosea Ballou owned the property at the north end of the
bridge, probably for the sake of using the small upstream pond as a reservoir for his nearby mill.
Although the exact date of the bridge is unknown, it may well date from the time of Ballou's first
mill in the early 1840s.