Mary T. Freeman, Anne Knowles
Many historical structures are still appreciated today for their beauty, the skill required to construct them, and how they preserve and complement the natural environment. Aqueducts, buildings, and bridges constructed by ancient civilizations are excellent examples of some of the stone structures that remain standing today that offer tangible ties to the past. Many of these structures foster local pride, create a strong sense of community, and provide economic benefits beyond their physical function.
Some of the most durable historical structures are stone arch bridges, which have been used worldwide for centuries for transportation over terrain that would otherwise be difficult to navigate. Such bridges used materials sourced locally and improved the lives of people in the region. Though not commonly found today in the United States, these bridges are an important link to civil engineering excellence and time-tested craftsmanship.
As communities grow and develop, they often wrestle with the desire to maintain historic structures or replace them in the name of progress. This was the situation for Stackpole Bridge in southern Maine. This bridge, built in the 1840s, is a dry-laid stone arch bridge on Simpson Road in Saco that spans Stackpole Creek. As a masonry bridge, it shows the craftsmanship and skill that is no longer common in many parts of the world. Throughout its service life, the bridge suffered damage from numerous floods from the nearby Saco River and was eventually rehabilitated in 2016, thus preserving its historical significance
Rights and Access Note
Copyright 2023 Abigail Morrison-Ouellette All Rights Reserved
Morrison-Ouellette, Abigail, "Stackpole Bridge: Rebuilding a Connection to the Past" (2023). Honors College. 788.