1. marc says

    Just becuase something is old, doesn’t make it special.

    Ever watch those antique shows where the stoopids bring in something they think is sooooooo valuable becuase it’s old and then they get told it’s a worthless POS?

  2. says

    @Marc you mean Antiques Roadshow? Only the most important television program of the modern era?

    Oh, but, on a serious note, structures from our past remind us of where we came from. Which is valuable. And to see something that has stood the test of time literally swept away is a little disheartening. *twirl*

  3. Wes says

    Well, I can see both sides of it. Obviously the bridge had deep sentimental value for these residents. 141 years is an incredibly long time for such a structure to last. Think about Vermont in 1870. Think about the generations that have come and gone over that bridge. On the other hand, all things come to an end and its probably time they built a new bridge if that route is actually still in use.

  4. says

    @AP Hey, sorry, but it doesn’t matter that the H is a consonant. In grammar, it’s one of the few exceptions for that rule because, well, it’s not always a present sound.

    For instance, yes, you are right. “A historic” is correct, though, traditionally, “An historic” would be because of something called an unaccented syllable. So, you wouldn’t say, “A hour” because the “h” sound isn’t present. You’d say “An hour.” Does that make sense? You’re welcome.

  5. jason says

    Preserving the past allows us to find value in the future.

    Each and every community has a bridge, a building, a special event, worthy of preservation. That preservational icon validates the present by honoring our starting points.

    Thanks Andy for tipping your blog hat to Landmark preservation.

  6. Matt McKenzie says

    Another reason to love this blog… news stories AND grammar lessons all in the same post.

  7. says

    Life is more than just utilitarian activity and structures. This lovely bridge in the beautiful – and Progressive – state of Vermont was a link to something beyond the here & now.

    There are some who have pooh-poohed the warnings and precautions over the past several days. These pictures, and the 25+ people who lost their lives are reminders of the very real damage caused by Irene.

  8. Fred says

    Marc, et al
    I suspect that you’ve never been to Vermont and experienced the charming country side, roads, and covered bridges.

    If you had, you would better understand what the loss of that bridge and others like means to the people of Vermont and others who love Vermont.

  9. Hollywood, CA says

    WTF?! This is what you’re crying about? I mean, actual tears being shed? Hunty’s, if this is the ONLY thing that you have to cry over in your life, you better praise Jesus! #ReDONKulUS

  10. BobN says

    “I mean, actual tears being shed?”

    Have you ever worked to help preserve something? Have you ever been responsible for taking care of something your great-great-great-grandfathers built? Does your livelihood depend in any way on tourists who come to visit your area because of its historical buildings?

  11. ant says

    Forget about the sentimental value for a minute and just think economics. Vermont has a tourist economy and covered bridges draw tourists. A 141 year old covered bridge has – had – even more value because of its age. It may not be your cup of tea but it has both real monetary and sentimental value.

    And I would add, it may not be your cup of tea but dismissing it out of hand as irrelevant just calls out your own ignorance/stupidity/philistinism.

  12. says

    What was swept away was a timber structure, probably well-documented since it was classed as landmark. So, there is absolutely no hindrance to rebuild it 99% like it used to be, if only the will is there. I was born in Lucerne, Switzerland, the town sporting probably the most landmarkish wood bridge in the world, the KapellbrĂŒcke. Well, about a third of it was destroyed by fire in 1993, with shocked comments from all over the planet. Three years later it stood like before, only with lighter-colored wood in the replaced section. In 100 years, no one will be able to tell the difference, bar some experts. And most of the wood that burned then wasn’t even from the Middle Ages-I can remember how I watched as a child in 1969 how most of the rotten beams and planks were replaced. For some weeks there was no bridge at all ! The only real loss in the fire were the triangular paintings in the roof, which really were 16th century originals. But I hardly think there was such artwork in your bridge. Therefore I call all carpenters to swing their axes, move their saws, bang their hammers, and rebuild that thing ASAP !

  13. Glenn says

    I find it very difficult to believe that the commenters who claim to see no loss in this aren’t just yanking our chains. No one is that unappreciative of the value of history.

  14. says

    Um, to the “who cares” set here: gay men fix up old houses all the time; why, what do you think is in Greenwich Village, the French Quarter, the Castro? — old stuff; we love old stuff; we set up antique stores and curio shops for heaven’s sake. Losing such a structure is sad indeed; and I have not seen this story anywhere else, so thanks for bringing it to us.

    And once an hour I take an herb to mitigate against grammar queens who do take exception to the rules of English, which are so filled with exceptions that there are rules to the exceptions themselves; with an exception or two to the rules of any given exception to the rules, of course.

    “I” before “E” except after “C,” is, of course, the rule, and well, Weird, eh? :)

  15. KD says

    When I think history I think oppression of gay people and other minorities. Why the hell do you like history so much? You can learn from it but it’s not something to be sentimental about.

  16. Jangles says

    ‘Hour’ is pronounced like ‘our’, but ‘history’ is not pronounced ‘istory’, it is a breathy ‘hhh-istory’ and thus we place an ‘a’ before it, not an ‘an’. HTHHAND.

  17. Richard Crawford says

    I agree wholeheartedly with Ant. The video was heartbreaking in the swiftness Nature can take away so much in mere seconds. Sad but inevitable.

  18. Really? says

    It’s “an historical” in English for the same reason that “Les Halles” does not preserve the elision between the “s” and the silent “h” that is the normal rule in French. Both are exceptions to the rule based on traditional usage.

    Which, again, is oddly apropos given the topic of this post.

  19. Larry says

    Thanks for the correction, but sorry AP, you are wrong. JONBENET is right. Lesson to be learned… Make sure you are correct before correcting someone else.

  20. BEAU says

    I for one, find the loss rather sad but, I know it can, and will be rebuilt. @JONBENET: I really appreciate it when someone gives a damn about proper grammar. @HOLLYWOOD, CA: You’re one real heartless bastard! Did you know that?

  21. chuck b. says

    “When I think history I think oppression of gay people and other minorities.”

    Pathetic. Get a life.

  22. says

    @Marc, it was old AND special, and yes it was sad to see a piece of our history swept away in seconds. Covered bridges are an iconic, timeless feature of VT. But, more than that, the bridge’s destruction was but one example of what happened around the state: whole towns underwater, houses and livelihoods damaged beyond repair, roads destroyed so people were trapped in their flooded towns. So maybe you could forgive VTers a touch of nostalgia and sentimentality when they’re contending with the worst floods there in a century and among the worst damage from Irene. But let’s trivialize the loss and nitpick about a minor grammatical issue instead . . .

  23. David says

    How are those poor weeping people going to get to the other side?? That is the REAL tragedy here! Screw history and grammar!! 😉

  24. says

    Wow, I never realized that there could be such ignorance, lack of compassion or understanding from my own community. Then again, it should not surprise me, for being gay doesn’t automatically make one intelligent or compassionate for causes other than your own.

    Vermont once had 600 covered bridges, and after the flood of 1927, only 114 remained. The destruction and loss of the Bartonsville Bridge was felt worldwide. The one million dollar policy is not enough to cover the cost to rebuild such a magnificent structure. Efforts are now underway to help raise the necessary funds to rebuild. I, like many other artists who live here in Vermont, are donating a percentage of my profits to help rebuild and reapir all the covered bridges throughout the state. If you have a love for bridges, or simply want to help out visit:, or look on Facebook for the Bartonsville page for information to help rebuild.

    My husband, and partner of 26 years, were married here in Vermont, and had our photos taken near two different bridges here in our beloved state of Vermont. Did I shed some tears while watching the Bartonsville Bridge wash away? You bet I did.

    For those of you who don’t understand, or who have never lived through such devastation, let me explain it for you. The bridge was not only an iconic historical landmark, it also expemplified what Vermont stands for, and the pain everyone is going through seeing the loss of life, roads and family farms destroyed, entire towns with irreplaceable historic structures in complete ruins, etc. So yes, I cried upon seeeing the ‘bridge’ wash away, and I hope that in your lifetime none of you ever get to witness the horrors of seeing your neighbor’s homes, friend’s farms and livestock, favorite places of business, etc. all washed away as well.

    Yeah, I expect more from our community, and reading some of these comments here on Towleroad leaves me wondering, perhaps you are all some of Fred Phelp’s ‘children.’ I have no other way to explain it to myself.

    When your head hits the pillow tonight, ask yourself this question: “What have I done today that makes me feel proud?”

    Show some compassion, and a bit of humanity, it’s a great start.