A bridge in the middle of the saltwater marshes

You have to suspend belief to get to the Wheaton Covered Bridge. It’s off the beaten path in the Northern section of the West Body of the Tantramar Marshes in Sackville, New Brunswick. If you’re visiting in the winter… it’s likely that you’ll have to drive through deep snow and/or muck.

The Tantramar Marshes are saltwater marshes that were originally settled and dyked by Les Acadiens who first arrived in 1671 and named the region Beaubassin.

After the French were expelled in 1755, the marshes were resettled by New England Planters and later by American Loyalists. The region is now being reclaimed as a wildlife habitat for waterfowl.

The “Wheaton” surname from the bridge is found all over the Maritimes (e.g. Wheaton’s stores, the Wheaton Settlement, Wheaton’s Cider Press Cafe). The Wheaton family came North from the United States as Loyalists after the Revolutionary War; they settled mostly in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

More specifically, the bridge is named for Thomas Wheaton… from a family branch that was granted land in Sackville/Westmoreland. Thomas was living on the land at the time the bridge’s construction (1916).

Building a bridge over the River Tantramar gave the people of Sackville a shortcut across the marsh that significantly reduced travel time to the closest town, Amherst. And, making it a covered bridge increased the lifespan of the bridge from 10-years to 80-years (PDF).

0 comments on “A bridge in the middle of the saltwater marshesAdd yours →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *