The Wire Suspension Bridge spanning the Carrabassett River in New Portland is a unique structure, the only survivor of four such bridges built in Maine in the 1800’s and probably the only such bridge still standing in the US. The actual facts of its origin have frequently been misquoted. However, available records indicate the building of the bridge began in 1864 and was completed in 1866. Two men, David Elder and Captain Charles B. Clark, were responsible for the bridge design and construction.
The towers are constructed of timber framing and covered with boards protected by cedar shingles. In 1959 the 99th Maine Legislature enacted legislation for the preservation of this bridge. The bridge was renovated in 1961, when the tower bases were capped with concrete, the towers were rebuilt, steel suspender rods were replaced by steel cables, and a new timber deck was installed. The tower framing timbers and main support cables are the original material. The span between towers is 198 feet.