By Dawne McLean
Our Albert County community is extremely pleased to see the scaffolding around the Sawmill Creek covered bridge. This means that major repairs are going to be done to preserve our covered bridge for years to come. It will be exciting to watch the progress of the repairs!
As President of the Albert County Historical Society, I sent a letter of concern, including the photos, to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI). In my letter, I also mentioned that the holes and deep cracks at both ends of the bridge were dangerous for visitors and trail ride horses. Within the next week, the holes were filled with asphalt!
When I saw the bridge scaffolding on March 7, 2021, I sent a letter to DTI expressing how pleased we are that the bridge is being repaired. DTI has also received messages of appreciation from Association Heritage New Brunswick, Covered Bridges Conservation Association of NB, and even the President of the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges in New Hampshire, who is familiar with NB's covered bridges from his visits.
It is so important that we work together to preserve our proud heritage of Albert County!
Now, for the history of the construction of the Sawmill Creek Bridge, let’s read the news published in The Albert Journal (provided by Bill White of Hopewell Hill).
Sept. 25, 1907: “A. E. Smye of Alma has secured the contract for the construction of the Sawmill Creek bridge at this place and will begin work at once. The bridge will have concrete abutments and a span of 102 feet with a covered top. The contract price is something over $3,000.”
Jan. 15, 1908: “The flooring of the new Sawmill Creek bridge in this place was completed on New Year's day, and the bridge is now open for traffic. The overhead covering will not be put on until spring.”
May 27, 1908: “The Sawmill Creek bridge is completed and was passed on Saturday by Inspector of the superstructure, who also sold by auction the timber of the old bridge realizing $22.50. The new bridge is a substantial looking structure and does credit to the contractor, A. E. Smye.”
After building the Sawmill Creek Bridge in 1908, Smye was awarded a contract in 1910 to construct a covered bridge to the Village of Point Wolfe for $1,456.
Dawne McLean is President of the Albert County Historical Society. She provided the image.