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If you have a copy of The World Guide to Covered Bridges produced and maintained by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, you can see they use an unique numbering system to identify the individual covered bridges, past and present, from around the world. The book catalogued over 800 extant and 10,000 lost historic American covered bridges that are searchable by selected attributes and locations, and existing bridges have been mapped via a variety of sources including GPS and satellite imagery.

As a matter of fact, after the first was erected in Philadelphia, more than 10,000 covered bridges were built across the United States between 1805 to the early 20th century. As of January 1980, only 893 of these covered bridges remained: 231 in Pennsylvania state, 157 in Ohio, 103 in Indiana, 100 in Vermont, 54 in Oregon, and 52 in New Hampshire. The remainder are scattered throughout the country. Non-authentic covered bridges-built or covered for visual effect-appear in each state.

North American covered bridges became famous after the birth of the novel The Bridges of Madison County written by Robert James Waller and made into a Hollywood motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. The Roseman Covered Bridge shown in this photo taken at Iowa state had been featured in both the novel and the film.

In Canada, Quebec Province has 12,000 highway bridges within its territory, but less than 1% are covered bridges. However, the province accounts for 57% of the total of 154 Canadian covered bridges, and at the global scale, Quebec houses 7% of these wooden structures. From 1800 to 1850, the wooden bridges such as we know them today had been defined. In the US, the switch of transportation from horse to steam had ended the development of wooden bridges, and set the covered bridges into the past with popular folklores and fiction rather than daily use.

In China, covered bridges are called lngqio (廊橋: corridor or veranda bridge) in Guizhou. At Fujian in southern Zhejiang province near the border of Fujian, there are more than 900 covered bridges, many of them hundreds of years old. There are also a number in nearby Qingyuan County, as well as in Shouning County in northern Fujian province. The Xijin Bridge in Zhejiang is one of the largest.

In Vietnam where I am from, there are only 2 covered bridges: the Thanh Ton near Huế and the Japanese Bridge in Hội An town near Đ Nẵng.

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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 128 N: 2359] (8576)
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