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The first bridge, an uncovered one, built around 1742, was referred to over time as the “cart bridge at Joseph Blood’s Fordway”, “the bridge near the Hon”, “the covered bridge”, “Jewett’s Bridge” and the “Groton Street Bridge”, based on historical records in the towns of Pepperell and Groton of the mid-1700’s through the mid-1800’s. Records show that the bridge was referred to as Jewett’s bridge sometime before 1848, based on Groton historical records written that year which state that “in March 1753, mention is made of repairing the bridge near Blood’s fordway, which is now (in 1848) called Jewett’s bridge.” Historical records do not provide clear evidence on why it became commonly known as the Jewett’s Bridge but it is reported that Abel Jewett lived near the fordway in 1844. In 1847, it was rebuilt as a wooden covered bridge.
The so-called Jewett’s Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1957.
The second bridge, the Chester H. Waterous Bridge, named after the legislator who won funding for it, stood from 1963 until 2008. According to Pepperell town records, the Chester H. Waterous Bridge appears to be the first bridge to be officially named. The new bridge, scheduled to be completed by mid-year is the third covered bridge to have spanned this crossing of the Nashua River (formerly referred to as the Lancaster River in the 1700′s).
Click here to view a historical timeline of the Pepperell Covered Bridge.
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