OUR COVERED BRIDGE

When is the last time you dined or celebrated a special event on a New England Covered Bridge? Your opportunity awaits in historic Shirley, MA., at The Bull Run Restaurant.

 

Built in 1971, our private Bull Run Covered Bridge spans the banks of the "Mighty Mulpus" Brook behind the restaurant. It was privately commissioned and Shirley architect Eric Davis oversaw its construction of muscular Massachusetts Oak, reinforced with steel I-beams.

Our bridge is a perfect location to exchange wedding vows, celebrate a special event, or plan a photo shoot.

Located just steps from our restaurant, we offer full service, plenty of free parking and privacy, all in the heart of Central Massachusetts.

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Our bridge is a replica of an Ithiel Town "Lattice Truss" design popular in the early 1800s. The "Town Lattice" bridge is recognizable as an uninterrupted series of closely spaced diagonal timbers. The web of overlapping triangles distributes weight equally, thus relieving stress from any one part of the structure.

Town's design was patented and popularized by Eli Whitney and can be seen in many New England states. Whitney described Town's design as combining "the admirable qualities of strength, simplicity, lightness, economy and durability."

We commissioned the Bull Run Bridge to accommodate additional parking on either side of the Mighty Mulpus.

It also serves as a one-of-a-kind backdrop for many happy occasions. We regularly host wedding ceremonies, photo shoots, fundraisers and private receptions on the bridge,

not to mention our popular "Dinner on the Bridge" each year.

About that sign...

Above our bridge, you'll see a weathered sign that reads: 

        THIS BRIDGE BUILT WITHOUT STATE

                         OR FEDERAL FUNDS

 

At the time of completion, first generation Innkeeper Lee's best friend and brother-in-law Joe Ward was a prominent State Senator in Boston. Joe was working on various issues related to and leading up to the Massachusetts Clean Water Act.

 

Innkeeper Lee maintained he didn't want anyone to think he received special treatment when building the only known private covered bridge over what were then seen as very troubled waters. Both Lee and Joe had a long history of pranking each other, so Lee had the sign painted to hang above the bridge entrance as an inside joke.

 

Though Lee and Joe have long since passed, we keep the sign up for sentimental reasons. During wedding season, we concede to cover it up with a custom made "Happily Ever After" sign.

But otherwise, Lee's sign stays!