The 1,282 foot Hartland Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the world. It was originally constructed by the Hartland Bridge Company, which was formed by citizens on both sides of the St. John River, and officially opened July 4, 1901.
The bridge was purchased by the government of New Brunswick in 1906. Two spans of the bridge were taken out by river ice April 6, 1920, and the government made major repairs and covered the structure in 1922.
The side walkway was added to the bridge in 1945 and on June 23, 1980, the Hartland Covered Bridge was declared a National Historic Site and on September 15, 1999 it was declared a Provincial Historic Site.
The bid for $27,945.00 was unanimously accepted by the board of directors from Albert Brewer, of Woodstock. In 1898, the Hon. H.R. Emmerson told the Board of trade delegation that a permanent bridge would cost between $70,000.00 and $80,000.00. The bridge would be eight steel spans. Since the bridge was built out of cedar spruce and hard pine, and local businessmen were used, the costs came in at a much lower amount.
The original completion date was to be May 14, 1901, but as the day approached, an emergency forced the first person to cross the bridge twelve hours early. At about 9:00pm on Monday the 13th of May, Dr. Estey responded to an urgent call to attend to a patient on the west side of the river. Dr. Estey approached the bridge and revealed to the workers, his circumstances. Workers then placed planks so he could drive across the bridge.