In honour of Valentine’s Day and Family Day we thought we would share the story behind the “kissing bridge”. Many of you may know that Westfield has its own “kissing bridge” also known as a covered bridge. Visitors are often curious about the bridge and ask: “Why a covered bridge and why is it sometimes referred to as a kissing bridge?”
Covered bridges date back to the early 1800s and were built to help protect the wooden structure from the weather- especially the decking. A bridge with no cover lasted about 20 years, but a bridge that was covered could have a lifespan of a 100 years. The world’s longest bridge, still in use, is located in Hartland, New Brunswick and has a span of 391 meters (1282 feet). Ontario has one surviving bridge located in a small place called West Montrose north of Waterloo in Woolrich Township. This bridge was built in 1880. When you search for this bridge on a search engine it also comes up by its official nick name: “The Kissing Bridge”.
Many covered bridges are known by other names, but interestingly this bridge, not very far from Westfield, developed somewhat of a reputation. Users of the bridge were encouraged to slow down their horse’s gait while crossing the bridge, and the bridge offered some privacy going across it, allowing couples to take advantage of the moment to steal a kiss. However, it is said that local girls learned to be wary when their escort’s horse stopped inside the bridge without any command from the driver to stop!
Westfield’s bridge is a reproduction of these early bridges. Our bridge helps to connect the Village in one continues loop making it possible to walk from our early settlement area to the rest of the Village and trail system. We hope that families will have the opportunity to take advantage of our own “kissing bridge” this week. We have added a heart for the occasion just in time for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. Check out the Hanson Family and Jack and Hannah as they help to model the beautiful structure.
Westfield is open for hikes and walks seven days a week until sunset. Cost is $15.50 per car load or use your Hamilton Conservation Authority Membership!