A stunning and comprehensive guide to the design, evolution, and romance of historic covered bridges extant in New York State. More than just artifacts of a bygone era, covered bridges enjoy a cherished place in the public imagination and a special niche in northeastern America's regional lore and architectural history. Once 250 covered bridges dotted New York State. But natural disaster and destructive human "progress" exacted a price, leaving only twenty-four historic bridges - completed between 1823 and 1912 - they represent a wide variety of designs. This book also takes a knowing look at why these bridges came to be and it fully explores the colorful and arcane customs they spawned. "Kissing bridges," for example provided delectable seclusion for sweethearts of an earlier era. Toll bridges appeared on an emerging turnpike system. Baptisms and weddings were conducted on those veritable platforms. And they were favored haunts for traveling salespeople. An abundance of brilliant color photos, county maps, driving directions, and accurate statistics make this a practical, appealing, and useful reference.