CT's Historic Masonry Arches

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Bates Avenue Bridge

Bates Avenue Bridge, Putnam

Bates Avenue over Little Dam Tavern Brook
Stone arch
Length: 16'
Built c. 1840
Bates Avenue Bridge, PutnamBuilt 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.

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 Roadside view of Bates Avenue BridgeThompson. 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.

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