Community celebrates 200 years of the Brookfield Floating Bridge

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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BROOKFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - The Brookfield Floating Bridge is a Vermont landmark and it is celebrating a milestone!

It’s one of the only floating bridges in the country, and the only one in the East.

Now, it’s celebrating a big birthday-- 200 years.

The Brookfield Floating Bridge
The Brookfield Floating Bridge(WCAX)

It has not been an easy road to reach the milestone. In fact, the current version is the eighth construction of the bridge.

The first was made out of logs chained together back in 1820. It’s been redone as needed since then but is no longer made of logs.

The most recent rebuild was completed in May 2015.

Though they have thought about turning it into a standard bridge as you see on most roads, the people of Brookfield hold the floating bridge close to their hearts, and historic preservationists fought to keep it floating.

“It’s an icon; it’s something to be proud of. It’s a community gathering place, fishermen, swimmers, as well as people who have visitors driving across the bridge... enjoying the scenery and the uniqueness of, ‘Hey, I’m from Brookfield and we have a floating bridge!’” said Greg Wight, a member of the Brookfield Historical Society.

To celebrate 200 years, there are a number of displays around town displaying thousands of pictures of the bridge the historical society has. One of them is located right next to the bridge.

As advanced as this eighth rebuild is, the bridge still closes during the winter months for safety.

But when it is open, I’m told it’s a popular spot with tourists!

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