subscribesubscriber servicescontact usabout ussite map
Tue, Oct 19 2021 

Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

West Newbury: Where elephants have passed

By Mary Hart

Historic Rocks Village Bridge connects West Newbury and Haverhill, and has an overall length of 812 feet. Built in 1795 originally with five supported piers and two abutments, this scenic bridge was utilized as a toll bridge "until 1868, when toll bridges were declared public highways and the tolls were removed," says Dot Cavanaugh, president of the West Newbury Historical Society. "Toll gates were located on the Haverhill side of the bridge, and the cost was half a penny for traveling on foot; three pence for a person with a horse; eight pence for a horse with a chaise; and two-thirds of a penny for swine or sheep."

Toll officials were once stumped by an elephant.

"A performance troupe from Barnum and Bailey Circus needed to cross the bridge," Cavanaugh says. "Part of their entourage was an elephant. Having never come across this before, the toll person didn't know what to charge for the elephant. As it turned out, he found out that they had no money anyway, so the toll person offered the group free passing for a performance the next morning, to which the group readily agreed."

A new corporation was founded in 1828 to rebuild the bridge, after it washed away in 1818. The rebuilt Rocks Village Bride was made entirely of plank and was built a few feet higher off the water than the original bridge. In 1894, the covered Haverhill section was fully removed and replaced by an iron structure. West Newbury's side was condemned in 1914 and was rebuilt with an entirely new structure in 1915.

print this story   email this story  

More from the section

Amesbury: A jewel on the Merrimack
Andover's gal about tow
School to many of Atkinson's own
Boxford: New England to the core
Four corners are Chester's icon
Chester, N.H.
Great blue solitude in Danville
Danville, N.H.
Robert Frost is Derry icon
Derry, N.H.
Dracut: Window into yesterday
Georgetown's acquired jewel: Camp Denison
Groveland brings the elms back to Elm Park
Main Street market is mainstream Hampstead
Hampstead, N.H.
Haverhill's oft-sung her
The green, green grass of Kingston
Kingston, N.H.
About time for Lawrence City Hall
Londonderry's acres of apples
Londonderry, N.H.
Merrimac: Years of memories await you
Merrimack Valley
Methuen's vital organ
Community at the bandstand is the norm
Surprise awaits with North Andover history
North Andover
Run of the Mill in Newton
Newton, N.H.
North Reading: 15 years of literary greatness
North Reading
Families park in Pelham
Pelham, N.H.
Jenne is Plaistow personified
Plaistow, N.H.
Salem's Stonehenge is oldest man-made structure in Americ
Salem, N.H.
Sandown icon is cherished town volunteer
Castle is Windham's cornerstone
West Newbury: Where elephants have passed
West Newbury

Click on a print ad below for a larger view:

Premier Guide



Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.CNHI Classified Advertising NetworkCNHI News Service
Associated Press content © 2006. All rights reserved. AP content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Our site is powered by Zope and our Internet Yellow Pages site is powered by PremierGuide.
Some parts of our site may require you to download the Flash Player Plugin.