Printer friendly version of this page.Bridgeton History

Take a step back in time with the friendly folks at Bridgeton

By: Marilyn Mitchell Payton

K of P Lodge (Knights of Pythias)The K of P Lodge (Knights of Pythias) building was erected in 1904 at a cost of $1,780. It was estimated that 1000 people attended the dedication. The upstairs room was used for many social events over the years. The K of P is probably best remembered for providing Bridgeton with a town hall.

Bridgeton Rail DepotIt was a great day for Bridgeton when the railroad came in 1891. Unfortunately the various railway companies who acquired it were never quite able to overcome the financial and management difficulties that beset it from the start. The Central Indiana, "Midland," operated with secondhand locomotives and the tracks were not well maintained. Trains were often late and there were many wrecks. Nevertheless the people mourned its passing when it was abandoned in 1929. The Depot is no longer standing.

Mitchell Auto Co.The Mitchell Auto Co. was formed in 1919. In 1921 Floyd Mitchell made cement blocks to build his garage. He sold Ford cars and later John Deere implements. In 1924 Glen Chapman's Ford coupe was stolen. Glen was happy to get it back but the thief was also a chicken thief and the car had a coating of mud and feathers.

Brownie's MarketPaul and Donald Hopper erected a hollow brick store building in 1932. Harold and Ruby Overpeck purchased it in 1934. Charles "Brownie" Brown worked for them and he purchased the store in 1948 and opened Brownie's Market.

The Bridgeton Covered BridgeThe covered bridge, after 99 years of faithful service, was retired in 1967 when the concrete bridge was built, but it still serves as the gateway to Bridgeton. In the early days "Cross this bridge at a walk" was painted on both ends of the bridge. This was so the rhythmic trotting of the horses wouldn't damage it. If you listen closely, you just might hear the clippety-clop of the horses' hoofs from bygone days echoing through the bridge. The sound of the water rushing over the dam is music to the ears and the peacefulness one finds communing with nature on the banks of Big Raccoon creek is soothing to mind and spirit.

Looking South down Main Street.Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, using your mind's eye to enjoy the sights and sounds of times past. In 1873 Major Kalley wanted cows off the sidewalks on dark Sunday evenings. We promise there will be no cows (or pigs or chickens) on the sidewalks--but maybe a friendly dog or cat. The animals did roam the streets in the early years. That's why the houses had fences. But sometimes the gates were broken or left open.

The following paragraph appeared in the Rockville Republican on December 10th, 1883

Looking North Down Main Street.Oh, the hog, the beautiful hog,
Curling his tail as he watches the dog;
Defying the law for his bread and meat,
Roaming at large over every street;
Hunting, grunting, nosing around,
Till the open gate is sure to be found,
With its hinges broken and ruined quite,
By the lovers who hung there last night.
It won't stay shut, it won't hang level,
It tempts the hog and he raises the--very
mischief with flower beds and gardens,
And will turn away undaunted
From the door of Dr. Crooks 'kitchen.
Such was life in Bridgeton!

The town is much the same as it was in the early years although some buildings are no longer standing due to fire or demolition, and there have been some changes in those that are still standing. Times have changed; but Bridgeton has been able to change with the times, while still managing to retain the qualities that make the town so popular with so many people--ever changing yet ever the same.

More Bridgeton History

The Story of Bridgeton.Bridgeton's heritage is preserved in the bridge, the mill, and the old buildings erected 1869-1932. It is also preserved in "The Story of Bridgeton" by Marilyn Mitchell Payton, the town historian, and in the Bridgeton Museum located at The Mitchell House.

The Story of Bridgeton is for sale at Fred's Place, the Bridgeton 1878 House and the Bridgeton Mill. Hard Cover is $19.95 and Soft Cover is $13.95. The books are available by mail, add $4.38 for taxes and shipping for Hard Cover and $3.63 for Soft Cover. For just $2.00 you can take A TOUR OF BRIDGETON, which is the last chapter of the big book.

To order you may write Marilyn Payton at:
P.O. Box 191
Rosedale, IN 47874-0191

Or you may E-Mail Marilyn or call her at (765) 548-2163. She will be glad to send you a copy of her book and chat with you about the history of Bridgeton.

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