In imagining The Col’s schedule as being always incredibly busy, and cyphering through the available source materials in hoping to find some clue, and some sense as to when he might have found the time to actually work directly with a Bridgewright framing one of his patent trusses and who it might have been…
I fell upon this gem of an advertisement, placed by brother Moses, agent for Stephen, in January of 1836 –
The first name on that list of sub-agents is cousin Horace, (much more on this prolific bridgewright and fellow patent holder later) builder of the Henniker and Haverhill examples listed in this ad. And also of the still existing Long, the Rowell’s, in the Long family hometown of Hopkinton NH, and just downriver from Henniker.
He also built (credit as to the builder of the Hopkinton Village Bridge was corrected in a later entry) this “Village “ example (an in-town bridge with double sidewalks) in the Contoocook Village section of Hopkinton. Removed in 1935 in a WPA Depression era makework project, it sat just upstream from the still existing covered railroad bridge– In fact, we know this little girl and the scene pictured here were photographed before 1889 when the RR bridge pictured was replaced by the one still standing. Little is known about this bridge. But, it is not at all improbable that it was a Childs built Childs Truss, as Horace and his own tight-knit cadre of brothers went on to do much of their contracting and bridgwrighting work for a number of area railroads.
The RR bridge in the photo has little more overhead clearance than the Village bridge it stands beside, and was likely built in the 40’s or 50’s when Locomotives were smaller and lighter.The Boston & Maine quickly replaced this bridge soon after acquiring the line from the Concord & Claremont, in anticipation of the heavier rolling stock of the future.