Bridge Opening Party – On this Date in 1758

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    • #1824
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      On this date,  12/18/1758, the New-York Gazette posted an announcement for a party to celebrate the opening of the newly constructed “Free Bridge.”  This bridge was built to be a free alternative to the King’s Bridge, which was a toll bridge that had been the only bridge to Manhattan.  Local people, who were tired of paying the toll on the King’s Bridge funded the construction of the Free Bridge by subscription–not unlike a gofundme project of today.  The King’s Bridge and the Free Bridge were the first two bridges to Manhattan and they stood only 500 yards apart!  The King’s Bridge was located at the intersection of today’s W. 230th and Kingsbridge Ave and the Free Bridge stood at today’s W. 225th Street just west of Bailey Ave.

      The celebration promised “a stately Ox roasted whole on the Green . . . as a small Entertainment.”

       

      It is worth noting that one of the organizers of the “Free Bridge” project was Jacobus Dyckman.  The new bridge just so happened to lead directly to the tavern that Dyckman owned on the Manhattan side of the bridge.  This likely undercut business at the tavern operated near the King’s Bridge.  Despite being a relatively rural area, it offered two bridges and two taverns for travelers to choose from!

    • #1825
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      Article from the New York Herald Tribune June 13th 1959 – Rev Tieck & Students from PS 122 will celebrate with a bronze Plaque the 200 Anniversary of the Free Bridge200 Anniversary of the Free Bridge KHS

    • #1826
      Peter Ostrander
      Moderator

      Sadly during the Bronx is Burning era the Plaque was stolen.

    • #1827
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      Picture of the Free Bridge 1885Free Bridge 1885

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