History of the bridge
The very first bridge in that location over the Sunday River was built in 1811. In 1869 a great flood washed out the bridge. The current artists’ bridge was built in 1872 by local builders. It was built in 2 sections, assembled together in place and the roof was then erected. The bridge survived the flood of 1927. In 1957, the town of Newry voted to build a new bridge in that location. The town also voted to save the Artists’ bridge due to is historical significance.1 The bridge is currently owned and maintained by the State of Maine.
The Artists’ Bridge is a popular destination spot for tourists and locals alike. It’s a perfect location for swimming, fishing, picnics, relaxing or to appreciate the beautiful hand-hewn craftsmanship of the bridge.
1Historical source: Paula Wight’s Newry Profiles 1805-1980 and Carrie Wight’s A History of Newry
Weddings, Photo Sessions and other events
The Artists’ Bridge is a public location where all are welcome.
Over the years the bridge has become a popular location for weddings and photo sessions.
The Newry town office keeps a Bridge calendar of events as a COURTESY. If you are planning a small event at the bridge, we encourage you to contact the town office to reserve your time frame. Again, calling us to reserve the bridge does not give you exclusive rights to the bridge as it is a PUBLIC place. Most local wedding venues/coordinators in the area know of this courtesy calendar and will refer patrons to call us to consult the calendar for their time frame.
You can contact us at the town office at (207) 824-3123 Monday through Thursday 7am-5pm. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the letter below that outlines the rules and other information for events at the bridge.
Rules & Information
June 11, 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
The Artists’ Bridge over Sunday River in the Town of Newry is owned by the State of Maine and maintained by Maine DOT. We are thrilled to have this historical icon, one of only seven covered bridges remaining in the state, in our town. As a public historical site it is, of course, open to everyone at all times. Exclusive use of the facility by any one party is not within its public purpose.
The State of Maine has recently put on a few new restrictions: no dancing, no marching in cadence, no candles or open fires and a maximum of 50 people.
The Newry Town Office does maintain an events calendar for the bridge as a courtesy to parties wishing to hold special occasions there. In the past the calendar entries have ranged from duck races to road rallies to weddings. However, entry on the calendar does not guarantee exclusive use but merely serves notice to anyone who inquires at the office that events are planned. Others may well use the bridge for picnics, bus tours, swimming, photos, etc. without consulting the calendar and are certainly welcome to do so.
No trash receptacles or bathroom facilities are maintained at the bridge, and the land surrounding the structure is privately owned. Anyone making use of the bridge is asked to do their part for the community and the neighbors by removing all items brought there immediately following their use and policing the surrounding land to insure that no paper products, baby diapers or other wastes remain. It goes without saying that the bridge should not be carved or defaced in any way, that all staples and other fasteners must be immediately removed and that nothing should be thrown into the river.
We are pleased that you have chosen to visit our beautiful town, and we hope that you will return often. Thank you for doing your part to help us to insure that the special qualities that make this area unique will be preserved so that future generations may enjoy all that we treasure today.