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Milestones Vol 25. No. 1

The Borough of Bridgewater was originally incorporated on March 19, 1834. Its population, according to the 1970 census, numbers about 966 people.

The Samuel Dunlap House.

The following is important facts and data on Bridgewater: General Aaron Burr spent much time and money here gathering supplies, building boats, and recruiting men for the conquest of Texas from Mexico. Martin Van Buren came in connection with the building of the canal. This division of the Beaver and Lake Erie Canal was built in 1831-1833. The oldest Methodist Church in Beaver County was built here in 1820. A man by the name of Andrew Carnegie donated money for an organ for the church in the early 1900's. The Piersol's Academy was built in 1878 at the present corners of Clarion and Bridge Streets. Many Indian trails ran through here, two known as "French-Way" and "Sandusky Trail". The Samuel R. Dunlap home on upper Market Street was a very distinctive home in the 1850's. This recently being the American Legion Post. The main business of this family was an extensive brewery later known as "Old Malt House".

Located on the corner diagonally from the Dunlap home stood the Johnston Small home. He was a noted blacksmith and metal worker. The Samuel Davidson home, which is on the river bluff overlooking Riverside Drive, is still in use today. This family operated a saw and grist mill. The oldest surviving house in town is located beside the Trailer Court at the junction of Sharon Road and Riverside Drive. This house, a portion of which was originally a log cabin, but now weather boarded and remodeled, was long the Hamilton home. Dickey's Canal Boat Warehouse was a long frame structure located at the corner of Otter Lane and Riverside Drive. Here a beam ran the length of the building to which block and tackle could be attached for raising heavy freight.

The Bridgewater Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1845, then only a basement. Later a second floor was added in 1876. A man, later a judge, named Joseph Hemphill, actually laid out most of the town in 1818. In 1841, Bridgewater had the bestdrilled voluntary military company in western PA, commanded by F. J. Clarke, W. L. Hamilton, Capt. John Steen and Major Joshua Logan. In 1832 flood waters reached the floor of the wooden bridge between Bridgewater and Rochester, leaving many homeless. In 1884 another flood destroyed homes and businesses and hurled the bridge against the P.&L.E. bridge. The flood waters of 1936 hit the hardest and damages ran into the thousands.

Todays Bridgewater is different in many ways with new buildings, new businesses and families.