Text Box:




In 1817 the Town of  Bethel voted to  build a  bridge over Bear River and followed  with a vote in 1822 to bridge Sunday River.  This bridge was periodically repaired—1837 responsibility for repair of the bridge was left in the hands of the selectmen.

 1852 the town voted to rebuild the Sunday River bridge and a superintending committee was chosen.

 In the late 1870’s , a new covered bridge was built over Sunday River on the Bethel-Newry road - a “hybrid” engineering design—Paddleford truss reinforced with a Burr arch truss.  Artist Bridge in Newry is a standard Paddleford truss bridge.

Theodore Burr, Torrington, Ct created the arch truss bridge where the truss is anchored by abutments.  The Paddleford truss design was created by Peter Paddleford from Littleton, NH. 

In 1927, the Bethel Sunday River bridge was being replaced the November 1927 flood washed out the temporary bridge. To travel from Bethel to Newry Corner, you had to pass through Swan’s Corner—see map below.

Google Earth image of Swan’s Corner/Sunday River Road/Rt. 2 area: 

(1) Bethel covered bridge (1927);

(2) (2)  Swan’s Corner; and

(3) (3) “Brew Pub”.

Oval Callout: 2
Oval Callout: 1
Oval Callout: 3

Photos above  are from old postcards of the Sunday River Bridge,  Bethel, Me.  (Bethel Historical Society photos.)

Oval Callout: 1
Oval Callout: 2
Oval Callout: 3

Notice how the road to Newry and Rumford was laid up through the late 1930’s. All traffic from Bethel to Newry Corner traveled through Swan’s Corner.


[1] Covered  bridge;

[2] Swan’s Corner;

[3] Sunday River Road;

[4] Bethel to Newry/Rumford Road

Oval Callout: 4
Rectangular Callout: To Bethel


Text Box: A Brief History of Sunday River
Bethel’s Covered Bridge over Sunday River