Nelson Hollow Bridge
Mill Brook Bridge No. 5
This 25-meter-long cottage roof-style covered bridge is one of only two of its style stillThis 25-meter-long cottage roof-style covered bridge is one of only two of its style stillstanding in the province of New Brunswick. The journal of John Nelson (whose name is todayused to identify the area) reveals that this bridge finished construction in 1873. As of 2023, thisbridge is over 150 years old, making it the oldest covered bridge in the province; and the latersurviving covered bridge in Northumberland County. The Bridges' longevity is attributed to itslong history of local upkeep and restoration efforts. Documents reveal that between 1899-1900,businessmen Frank and Bob Swim would oversee “bridge construction” in Nelson Hollow. InIn1923 the floors of the bridge would be replaced. During the second half of the 20 th century, theCentral Miramichi Historical Society was pivotal in restoring and salvaging the historicallandmark. Initial efforts to restore the bridge were undertaken by the Central MiramichiHistorical Society in 1974, with subsequent repairs materializing in the 1980s, early 2000s, and 2010s. The photo below was taken during the first major restoration in 1974.
Nelson Hollow once housed a substantial settlement featuring a mill, Inn, and store. The land encompassing present-day Nelson Hollow to Ephraim Betts in 1809 (a loyalist and veteran of the American War of Independence.) Ephraim Betts and 59 others would constitute the first English settlement in Central Miramichi. Present-day Nelson Hollow would serve as the community’s administrative centre; historical records reveal that the area was initially named Betts Settlement. Because the main road originally passed directly through Nelson Hollow, the Inn just off the bridge's Northern side was a frequent resting point for weary travellers.