Bridgewater, in Rockingham County, is one of the largest and best-preserved of a string of towns located along the Shenandoah Valley’s former Harrisonburg—Warm Springs Turnpike. It began as a river port for neighboring farms to float their goods downstream to Port Republic. The lots were laid out by the Dinkle family in the 1820s, and Bridgewater was formally established as a town in 1835. The community today has one of the most extensive assemblages of vernacular architecture in Rockingham County. The Bridgewater Historic District focuses primarily on Main Street, with its rows of closely packed mid-19th-century dwellings, but it includes several early cross streets and the core of the campus of Bridgewater College, founded in 1882. Many of the 19th-century buildings are cloaked with rich Victorian decoration. With few major intrusions, the Bridgewater Historic District maintains the image of a prosperous turn-of-the-20th-century country town.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark