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Bridgewater's history is closely associated with that of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers (and often much too closely!). The Great Path, or Tuscarawas Trail to Central Ohio followed the Ohio River from its forks, crossed the Beaver at Bridgewater, then veered to the northwest. When the Delaware Indians migrated to the Beaver Valley around 1725, their first village, Sawkunk, was located in Bridgewater, before moving to higher ground where Beaver now stands. Bridgewater was originally surveyed as outlets for the town of Beaver.

Settlement in the area was sparse until 1832, when the Beaver Division Canal was constructed from Rochester to New Castle (with subsequent extension to Akron and Erie). Although the Girard Locks were across the river, Bridgewater became the major terminal of the canal. Freight from river steamboats was reloaded onto canal boats headed north and west, and immigrants traveling down the canal tarried in Bridgewater while seeking passage westward on the Ohio.

Stone's Point, where the rivers meet, was the site of Stones Hotel, a noted landmark on the upper Ohio and stopping place for many river travelers. An island in the Ohio River was located here until obscured by flooding prior to the present century.

Bridgewater Borough combined with Sharon Village in 1868 (then part of Brighton Township). Sharon was the site of much activity in 1805, when a number of "Orleans" boats were constructed here to carry men and supplies to Aaron Burr's proposed colony in Louisiana.

Beaver County's first Methodist Church is believed to have been located here. In 1845, the Bridgewater Presbyterian Church was established, following a split in the Beaver congregation. In 1878, Professor Scudder Peirsol established an Academy next to the church after the Soldier's Orphan Home in Monaca burned.

As the rivers created Bridgewater, so did they try to destroy it. More than any other Beaver County community, Bridgewater has been ravished many times by floods. Reservoirs in the headwaters of the river have largely alleviated the flood problem, but the danger still exists. The lower section of town was most recently inundated by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

Bridgewater (named for the city in England) had its own post office, called West Bridgewater (closed in 1959) which still creates much confusion as to the correct name of the town. The borough's theme for the future is "back to the river." The biggest industries in town are a barge repair facility on the Ohio (at Stone's Point) and Skyline Marina on the Beaver. The Beaver River, site of the annual River Regatta since 1975, is an ideal waterway for pleasure boats of all sizes. Riverside Park was developed as a community project in 1976. Currently Bridgewater is the home of many fine restaurants and small shops that enhance the community.