In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

New Portland: Bridging the Past to the Future

Bridges of East New Portland

Text by Marilyn Gorman and Dianne Pease
With Images from New Portland Historical Society

Parsons Bridge:

The Parsons Bridge is located on the Katie Crotch Road near the place built by Ebenezer Richardson, one of the original settlers. According to town records the Parsons Bridge was the first bridge built with town money. The bridge was a five-span structure, with granite block piers and abutments supporting five timber kingpost trusses. This bridge was replaced with a two-span concrete T-beam bridge constructed in 1936 by the Maine State Highway Commission.

Covered Bridge:

Covered Bridge at East New Portland
Covered Bridge at East New Portland

Item Contributed by
New Portland Historical Society

This bridge was located where the large cement bridge is now and was built by Abram Richardson in 1863, he recovered part of the lumber from a previous bridge, built by Stephen Merrill in 1835, that was taken out by a strong gale that sent the heavy timbers crashing to the rocks and ice below. The structure was nearly 300' long. The approach from either side had two roadways: one for the traveler going north and one for the traveler going south.

For many years the bridge lighted by lanterns and when the lights appeared the children knew that it was time to go home The bridge was sometimes called “Lover's Lane” and was a natural playground for those attending the Old Red Schoolhouse that was nearby.

The bridge was never painted and over time acquired its natural weather-beaten appearance. In the winter snow was brought in to cover the floor on one side to help the sliding. This was called “snowing the bridge.” The old bridge was closed to the public September 08, 1923, and records show that the new Cement Bridge was opened to the public June 27, 1924.

Carrabassett Bridge:

Carrabassett River Bridge East New Portland
Carrabassett River Bridge East New Portland

Item Contributed by
New Portland Historical Society

This bridge replaced the old Covered Bridge. It was built in 1923 by the Maine State Highway Commission. It is a two-span closed spandrel concrete deck arch bridge and was designed under guidance of State Bridge Engineer Llewlyn Edwards. This is one of the most complete early concrete bridges remaining in the state, and was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by Maine DOT's Historic Bridge Survey in 2001.