We’ve had some pretty hectic days lately with all the things we’ve tried to cram into each day at every location. We decided it was time to slow things down a bit, so we planned an easier day. We would take a drive to find the 4 covered bridges in the area and spend some time in Woodstock today. The first bridge was on Waterman Rd. just outside of Quechee.
The Quechee Covered Bridge was built in 1870 and rebuilt in 2013.
The bridge sits near the dam and spans the Ottauquechee River. We were able to drive over the bridge. The second bridge was in the town of Taftsville farther down the river.
The Taftsville Covered Bridge was built in 1836 and rebuilt in 2013. It is the oldest covered bridge in Windsor County and is the 3rd oldest covered bridge in the state. It is the 2nd longest covered bridge in Vermont.
The design and construction techniques of the Taftsville Bridge are unique. It is constructed of local wood and stone.
The bridge also sits near a dam and across from the Country Store. We drove across this bridge too.
We drove the rest of the way to Woodstock and found a place to park the truck on the street with a meter. The meters are solar powered and you can use a credit card. It was $1/hour and we thought 2 hours would be enough time to see what we wanted to see.
We started our self-guided tour of town with a walk down one side of the street, around the town “island”, and down the other side. Some towns have a town square, but Woodstock has a town “island” called The Green. It is an oval park that runs down the middle of the street. The first thing we noticed were all the beautiful homes and businesses painted white with black shutters, or brick/stone with black shutters that lined the street. The date plaques on the homes were dated in the early to mid-1800’s.
Woodstock is famous for the architecture of its house and churches. It is also the site of the first ski tow in the U.S. It is the only town in America with 5 church bells cast by Paul Revere and Co. We came upon the 3rd covered bridge by surprise. It was the Middle Covered Bridge, built in 1969, sitting on a road that ran between some houses right downtown.
This span is the first truly authentic highway covered bridge to be built in New Hampshire or Vermont since 1895. There is no steel in this bridge and we did not drive over it. We continued around The Green to the other side of the street. The Windsor County Courthouse was very stately looking from the outside.
We opened the front doors and went inside to see what it looked like. We were greeted by a security guard from the sheriff’s department. We asked him if we could look around in the old building, but he told us that was as far as we could go for security reasons. He did point out on the security camera, the screen that showed the courtroom and told us all about the original furniture, seats, and judge’s bench found there.
He said that the judge’s bench is well over 100 years old. The last criminal case that was heard in that courtroom was in 1974. I guess it’s a pretty peaceful place. We enjoyed our chat with him and left. The next building was the Norman Williams Public Library–a very unique-looking building.
The church at the end of the Church Street had some beautiful stonework.
The small business area was lined with shops of all kinds.
We poked our heads into the Unicorn Gifts shop and inquired about a place to eat. The proprietor told us about Bentley’s Restaurant across the street. We finished checking out the shops on that side of the street and then crossed over to the other side. It was around lunchtime, so we stopped in and sat at the bar at Bentley’s.
Mike, the bartender, was a wealth of knowledge and we enjoyed sharing stories with him. I ordered a Guiness beer, something that I haven’t had in a long time. It still tasted as good as I remembered.
Then we spotted nachos on the menu, so we ordered some. We are always on a quest for good nachos. We were hungry, so they hit the spot.
After finishing our lunch, we bid farewell to Mike and continued on with our tour of the town. We stopped in the Village Butcher, Deli and Bakery.
There were lots of unusual and interesting items for sale in this old time deli and meat market.
Our next stop was the F. H. Gillingham and Sons General Store. They said it was a classic Vermont general store.
I bought a bottle of Moxie to try with our friends, Patti and Mike, from New Hampshire when we visit at the end of the week.
From there we made it back to the truck with 20 minutes to spare on the meter. We made one last stop at the Lincoln Covered Bridge just one mile out of town. The Lincoln Bridge was built in 1877 and is the only remaining wooden bridge in America of its kind and design. It is 134 feet long and was renovated in 1947.
This bridge had no view of the river from the bridge. The river meandered its way along the valley at this spot. We can say that we drove across this bridge too.
That concluded our tour today so we drove back to the campground around 2:00. I put on my swimsuit and headed off to the pool. Bob had a project he wanted to do so, he stayed behind with Auggie. I returned after an hour and sat outside with Auggie as the afternoon cooled off. Bob joined us and we sat out on the deck before dinner. We had a light dinner after the nachos for lunch and then Auggie and I took our walk to view the sky at sunset. It was a beautiful mix of orange, blue, and yellow.
Back in the camper, we watched some TV and relaxed. The day was slow-paced and just what we needed!