The Tuttle Bridge is a historic stone arch bridge currently underwater in Franklin Pierce Lake off Breezy Point in Antrim, NH. The bridge was constructed sometime around 1888 by Jonathan Dow Clement. Keene Road ran Westerly alongside the North Branch River to a crossing of a road running Southerly from the Sulphur Hill neighborhood of Hillsborough. That road crossed the North Branch River on the Tuttle Bridge. The Tuttle Tavern was located conveniently at the intersection of the two roads and gave its name to the Tuttle Bridge.
When the North Branch was dammed in 1926 to form the Franklin Pierce Lake reservoir, the Tuttle Bridge was submerged under approximately 10 feet of water. The bridge has been visible over the years when the reservoir is drawn down, and the stone arch is believed to remain in-tact.
The Tuttle Bridge is one of twelve dry-laid stone arch bridges built by the Town of Hillsborough that form that largest cluster of such bridges in New Hampshire. Stone arch construction was selected in the 1800s because the strength and durability of stone could better withstand flooding than wood bridges. At the time these bridges were built, the lime mortar which was available did not have adequate compressive strength and dissolved easily in water, making dry-laid stone masonry preferable for wet applications. The dry-laid stone bridges were built by skilled masons who could properly cut and fit the stones tightly together without the use of mortar.
Five of the twelve surviving bridges (counting two double arched bridges as single structures) now comprise the “Five Stone Arch Bridges” Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in Hillsborough, NH. The New Hampshire American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is in the process of nominating the Tuttle Bridge for inclusion in the Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.