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Bridgewater

Trip Planner USA  /  Virginia  /  Bridgewater
(75+ reviews from 1 attraction)
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Bridgewater is an incorporated town in Rockingham County, Virginia, United States. The population was 5,644 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bridgewater is also home to Bridgewater College, a private, coeducational, four-year liberal arts college founded in 1880, historically associated with the Church of the Brethren.HistoryAmong the first families of European descent in the area was the Dinkle family. Around 1810, John Dinkle built a sawmill and a grist mill on the North River, a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The tiny community was first called Dinkletown. The area was known as McGill's Ford before the Dinkles moved here.The name was changed to Bridgeport, because it was a flatboat port at a bridge. Even after it was no longer a port, the bridge was still there, hence the final renaming as Bridgewater. During the American Civil War, some troop transit and skirmishes happened nearby. The Valley Campaigns of 1864 involved the region.In the late 19th century, the world's longest single-span wooden covered bridge stood where Main Street crosses the North River; representations of the long-gone bridge still appear in the town emblems.
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