Bennington Banner Newspaper Archives Jun 29 1963, Page 51

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Bennington Banner (Newspaper) - June 29, 1963, Bennington, Vermont Noel Barbera a Bridges gone Progress has wiped out All memorials to the master builder of covered spans Noel Barber by is v1nt r Ken Pov Vna la the covered Bridge is As much a badge of Vermont As Morgan horses and Maple syrup but not one of the states still existing spans is the product of perhaps the greatest Bridge builder of them All. The master builder was Noel Barber Best remembered today As Fountainhead of a prolific family. More than a Hundred of his descendants live in Pownal Valley or environs. One of the in a great grandson named Byron Barber has a collection of records and mementos of this highly skilled but untaught Artisan who erected All the covered Bridges across the Hoosic River Between North Adams and Hoosick Falls. That none of them remains is attributable not to any fault in construction but rather to the fact that All carried the traffic for the discriminating woman. Pat paid Steed assures the tasteful look she desires via a full line of handbags including coordinates hosiery too Steed 918 main Street of popular roads. Eventually these heavily travelled ways were widened and Concrete structures replaced Barbera a Bridges. All were still standing Many after a Century of use and had to be removed manually. Barbera a greatest Triumph was at South Pownal where he overcame the fierce forces not Only of nature but also of Man. Back in 1844, the Village took a determined step to overpower the riotous River which had an almost perfect record for removing Bridges where the Center of the town connected with the River Road. That year it was voted at town meeting to employ Noel Barber to build a Bridge. Records of the exact amount of cosh sensation Are gone but memories of a bitter forfeiture clause remain. Barber was married to Olive Thompson a woman of Strong arms and principles. She ran the farm while Noel was away from Home building Bridges. She also had a brother who was on the outs with Noel much of the time. This Thompson was the instigator of the forfeit clause that roughly translated would have Given the Bridge to the Village for nothing if Noel failed to meet the completion Date. After learning that even one voter could compel action of the Date were missed Thompson became confident that the penalty would be exacted especially since floods and illness were causing the Job to drag. Barber got wind of the Devi try and erected a solid Barrier on the Village end of the Bridge. Behind it work went on apace much faster than Thompson suspected. Completion Day dawned and wore its weary length and Thompson showed up As evening neared. He pounded on the Barrier and inquired Quot Hainet this the Day the Bridge was going to open up Quot Barber replied Quot certainly or. Thompson come then he knocked Down the Barrier and stepped aside with dignity. And so Thompson was the first Man to Cross the new Span but it Isnit on record that he enjoyed the trip. The Bridge stood More than too years withstanding the battering debris of Many floods even the record ones of the late twenties and thirties a testimonial to Good materials and Good workmanship. It we removed about to years ago. Barber also erected Public buildings. He built the Pownal Village school and the Pownal methodist Church. He was an Amateur veterinarian of considerable skill which he imparted freely. With All those buildings Bridges and animals on his mind its Small wonder that he had Little time for family matters. One Story recalls his driving through the Village when a woman ran out and stopped his horse to inquire the name of the latest Barber addition. Noel finally snapped out of brooding Over his numerous affairs to answer that he did no to know. Quot i Call Mem All Tot Quot he explained. That puts him in the class with the elderly midwife whose alternate dozing and knitting were interrupted by a similar query and replied Quot Why its a girl or a boy or something of that in the occasion of the flood and Hurricane of 1938, a Pownal Ite put together 64 lines of unmet red footless Doggerel aimed at honouring the great Man. The final eight lines follow a Pun Trie Hillside Noel sleeps today but his Bridge is standing w Hile the River seems to say you be crossed me with your timbers you be bound me with your beams forever in a in bondage to Noel s will it seems. The red barn restaurant Good food Good service reasonable rates plenty to eat Good news for travel in Folk we re proud of the food we serve 4 Miles North of Bennington on it. 7 42-Bennington summer saturday june 29, 1963

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