At This Place in History with the Vermont Historical Society, Executive director Steve Perkins, takes us to the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge in Wolcott. It’s the last of it’s kind, in use, in Vermont, and maybe nation wide!
You may have gone across this bridge, while on a train, but not anymore.

“It was preserved in 1968, of course, that’s when the sign was built, it says ‘last bridge currently in use’ well it’s not in use anymore but it was until 1994,” says Steve Perkins, executive director of the Vermont Historical Society.

In it’s glory, the train line was hoping to boost Portland, Maine as a port and try to take some business away from Boston.

“It was originally called the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain railroad and it was meant to link St. Johnsbury Vermont all the way to Swanton on Lake Champlain. And ultimately that was to connect Portland, Maine to the Great Lakes in Ogdensburg,” says Perkins.

The line didn’t pan out. But it worked for Vermont.

“On this line alone there were five covered bridges and some people called it the covered bridge line but by the 1950s they had much heavier trains pulling much bigger loads and it just didn’t make economic sense so the railroad started ripping down all the covered bridges,” says Perkins.

But the community in Lamoille Valley rallied together and raised funds to save the last railroad covered bridge. Trains ran on the line until 1994. Now, not in use, there might be plans in place to add it to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

In the future, you might be able to walk, bike, snowmobile and more all the way from St. Johnsbury to Lake Champlain, just like trains traveled before 1994.

To see all of our This Place in History stories with the Vermont Historical Society, click here.
Explore more of Vermont’s history! Click here for a map of all of the Vermont’s roadside historic markers.