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Old North Bridge

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1760; 1874; 1888; 1909; 1956, Whitman and Howard. Monument St. at the Concord River.
  • Old North Bridge

The original 1760 wooden bridge is long gone. The second Old North Bridge was built in 1874 as a conduit to the Revolutionary War monument that had been erected in 1837 and Daniel Chester French's statue The Minuteman (1873–1874, NHL/NRD). This bridge and several others were built, destroyed, and replaced until the Massachusetts Department of Public Works erected the current yellow pine woodpile structure in 1956. The National Park Service created the Minute Man National Historical Park (LN1) here in 1959. Despite the historical significance of a bridge at the site of the battle of Concord, various granite, arched bridges along the Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet rivers in Concord are more structurally interesting. The best way to see these bridges is by boat or canoe. Leaving from Main Street's concrete South Bridge (1909, J. R. Worcester Co., engineers), one passes down the Sudbury River under the three-arched granite Elm Street Bridge (1874); the granite single-arched Nashawtuc Bridge (1883); and the granite four-arched Flint's Bridge (1877, J. W. Gavett, NHL/NRD) en route to the reconstructed Old North Bridge.

Ralph Waldo Emerson commemorated Concord's Old North Bridge in the poem he wrote for the dedication of French's statue: “By the rude bridge that arched the flood/Their flag to April's breeze unfurled/Here once the embattled farmers stood/And fired the shot heard 'round the world.”

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Citation

Keith N. Morgan, "Old North Bridge", [Concord, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-CN11.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 454-454.

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