5 votes

Harvey Mountain Bridge


Photo taken by Chester Gehman in September 2016


BH Photo #365148

Street View 


A lengthy drought in Connecticut has exposed a bridge that has been underwater for about 50 years. The small village of Colebrook River was lost when the Colebrook Dam was built on the West Branch of the Farmington River in 1969. The bridge crossed the river in the village and was never removed. While the bridge has been partially exposed in the past at times of low water, this may be the first time it is accessible from the shore.


Warren pony truss with all verticals bridge in Colebrook River Lake; Colebrook
Colebrook, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Future prospects
Inundated due to construction of Goodwin Dam/formation of Colebrook River Lake, occasionally exposed and accessible from shore during times of drought
Built ca. 1939 (based on Chester's findings, submerged in 1969 but still present underwater.
Warren pony truss with all verticals
Also called
Colebrook Lake Ghost Bridge
Colebrook Lake Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.03398, -73.05016   (decimal degrees)
42°02'02" N, 73°03'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/661398/4655388 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Tolland Center
Inventory number
BH 73753 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 16, 2020: New photos from Josh Schmid
  • March 24, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: Updated build dates and history based on Chester's findings
  • January 22, 2017: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: Added categories "Othmar H. Ammann Nominee", "Othmar H Ammann Award winner"
  • December 9, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • September 19, 2016: New photos from Chester Gehman
  • September 19, 2016: Added by Matt Lohry


  • Matt Lohry
  • Chester Gehman - gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Josh Schmid


Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 6, 2020, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The summer of 2020 has been a dry one, and predictably, the Harvey Mountain Road Bridge has made another appearance, albeit a partial one.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted March 24, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nice find Chester! The previous bridge was definitely a Pratt through truss.

I've updated the build date based on your findings. Hopefully, you, or someone else here, will create an entry for the prior bridge to properly display your findings and images.


Art S.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted March 24, 2020, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I have been unable to find any contemporary photographs of this bridge. Colebrook Town Records indicate that on a meeting Oct. 29,1938, it was voted "to replace or reconstruct" "the iron bridge across the West Branch of the Farmington at the center of the village of Colebrook River." On May 22, 1939 at a special meeting the estimate for the bridge was "$6,000 for superstructure and plates". It seems the original bridge was damaged or washed out in the flood of September 21, 1938. This indicates that the present bridge was built probably in 1939. While the Berlin Construction Co.is not specifically mentioned, they would have been a logical choice for a builder.

The attached photos are of the prior bridge, definitely a through truss and possibly Pratt in design. The distant photo was taken by Una Clingan Rands, a woman photographer who took many glass plate photographs in the Colebrook area. The view is from 1923. The postcard picture, from 1907, also shows the cotton mill located on the west bank slightly upstream of the bridge.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted August 14, 2017, by Anonymous

Best Kept secret! Suggestions for this year?

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted April 26, 2017, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The drought is over; Colebrook Lake is full, and The Harvey Mountain Road Bridge is submerged again. Sayonara.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted December 9, 2016, by Dana and Kay Klein

Greetings Chester, This was one of the coolest things I've seen on Bridgehunters. Glad to see it was nominated for An Othmar H. Ammann award!

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 21, 2016, by Luke

I agree with Robert's comment as well.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 20, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I also agree with what Robert has stated here, and do apologize for whatever has happened in the past Chet. Anytime you have a wide-open forum like this one there will be an occasional "Anonymous fly in the ointment" if you will. I like to think that overall we have a good core of folks here that do try to help make this site better... And help one another as well!

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 20, 2016, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Well. Thank you for all the positive comments. I did not intend to air old grievances, but to attempt to explain why I do not post on BH anymore. You are right, though; the website has gone through growing pains and has improved in many ways. I know there are others who stopped contributing as well, irritated and frustrated by a small minority. Frankly, I am surprised and pleased that my participation was noted and missed. Perhaps I need to re-think my decision. Again, thank you, Robert and Michael, for your encouragement.


Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 20, 2016, by Michael Quiet (mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com)


I thoroughly second Roberts statement and request (In no small part because I couldn't do it myself so eloquently). Having joined this community just over 3 years ago now, I remember having a tough time with it for a while. Getting immediately corrected because you didn't know the difference between a Baltimore and Pennsylvania truss, or adding a bridge and having it immediately edited before completing it was incredibly frustrating.

But I agree that things have gotten better here, as the environment has certainly relaxed. For me it was a good time to come on-board here, as it gave me a strong view of what editorial high-mindedness can do and has contributed to my approach for my work here. I try not to judge though as I feel like we are all after the same thing; to build a complete, comprehensive, and accurate bridge site. Its the method by which we achieve this goal that matters though.

It's definitely a double edged sword with the system here where everyone can have editorial power with no strict guidelines on how things are to be set up. It allows us to grow and develop the community organically, and figure out what works. Of course with this (as with any online community) you can have Trolls and Zealots, who get an outsized power with the editorial control. It has its cons, but I'll take that any day versus a system with moderators and strict guidelines.

What I can say for absolute sure though is that we are poorer here on BH without your contributions and wonderful photos spanning several decades. Needless to say I miss the documentation you've done (especially with the Lenticulars, I sometimes hop over to LH just to look), and would love to see you back on this side.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 20, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks Matt for posting this bridge.Being from southeastern Pa i am familiar with lakes when being built oftentimes structures will be submerged.I wouldn't doubt some of the man made lakes here in Pa have bridges underwater besides houses,trees and other interesting finds.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 20, 2016, by Anonymous

Stick to your guns, Mr. Gehman. Your work is too priceless for you to be subjected to the manipulation by the pains that another writer referred to. Some of them appear to still be very much active. The Landmark site hasn't been infested by them yet.

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 19, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

tl;dr: This website has experienced some growing pains over the years, but it has come out stronger. I hope that our former contributors will return.


I hope that you will return to posting. I won't rehash old history, but there were a few flame wars on this website a few years ago. I have to confess that I finally exploded after constant provocation by the the Half Star Bandit. I took the bait when I shouldn't have.

In retrospect, the website was going through some growing pains at the time. Topics such as railroad names, inclusion of MOBs, mid-20th Century concrete slabs, nice looking modern bridges, non-descript old bridges, etc, all had to be discussed. Over time, I think that we were finally able to work out solutions that improved the website.

Many of us Bridgehunters are very passionate about "our" bridges. We have all driven way out of our way down many a dirt road, sometimes nearly getting stuck, only to find that the 1880s pony truss we wanted to document has been replaced by a shiny concrete slab. Many of us have driven out of our way only to find an empty gap over the river. We have seen people cheer when our favorite cantilever was blown to smithereens. We have seen some older trusses neglected only to become fish habitat when they finally collapsed. Such frustration can easily manifest itself in the forum.

Yet, at the same time, we also realize that state historical societies, DOTs, engineers, and children visit this website. This, we can really do society, and historic bridges, a favor by encouraging quality discussions. It is going to take all of us to change perceptions in this country regarding the value of historic bridges.

My home state of Kansas has neither covered bridges, nor monumental suspension bridges. Thus, we lack the two types of bridges that Americans seem to care about. Yet, Kansas has some Bowstrings, wrought iron Pratt trusses,a variety of other truss types, Marsh arches, stone arches, and other designs that have great historic value. I learned to study and appreciate these overlooked bridges at a young age. It is my hope that these types of bridges nationwide will receive the preservation priority that they deserve. But, we must start by informing the public of their value. We all have a role to fill.


Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 19, 2016, by Dana and Kay Klein

Once in a Life time find Chet! Thank you !

Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 19, 2016, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I used to post to BridgeHunter, but deleted all my photos because I felt I was badly treated by some members. I will make an exception in this case, but I generally only post on LandmarkHunter now.


Harvey Mountain Bridge
Posted September 19, 2016, by Matt Lohry

I wasn't sure if Chester has an account, so I took the liberty of adding. This is a great find! We may have to get James (or someone who knows how) to move his photo to the page, if Chester would allow.