CT's Historic Masonry Arches


(click on images for larger view)

Bridge Street Bridge,
Bridge No. 1852


Bridge Street Bridge, Windam


Bridge Street over Willimantic River
Windham
Stone arch
Length: 80'
Built in 1868
Lyman Jordan, builder
Engraved tablet on Bridge Street BridgeThe 80' span of this impressive stone arch is the third longest in Connecticut, exceeded only by Hartford's Main Street and Bulkeley bridges. Its finely cut ring stones, large keystone, and parapet coping are grey granite of a type quarried locally, and the rubble spandrels appear to be made of stone cut from the ledge along the river banks. The builder, Willimantic stonemason Lyman Jordan, inserted a large tablet bearing his name and the date of the bridge (now worn and hard to read) in the east parapet.

Roadside view of Bridge Street BridgeThe bridge formerly stood in the midst of a large mill complex owned by the Windham Cotton Manufacturing Company, of which only a few remnants survive. Just west of the bridge was a dam that provided the waterpower for the mill. The wisdom of using stone arches for crossings located downstream from mill dams was shown just one year after the Bridge Street Bridge was completed. In October 1869, heavy rains caused flooding throughout eastern Connecticut, destroyed dozens of dams and bridges, and turned the countryside into what one observer called a "vast lake." Both this bridge and Willimantic's other stone arch (about a mile downstream at the former American Thread mills) survived intact.

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