The Scotch Irish were the first to arrive in Bridgewater 30 years before the Revolutionary War, led by William Magill Senior the Magills were from Northern Ireland.
The Scotch Irish pioneers started in the new world as settlers in Pennsylvania. They came south to the Shenandoah Valley where land was more plentiful in greater quantities.
English, Dutch, Welsh, and German immigrants followed the Scotch Irish and made Bridgewater their home.
The Town of Bridgewater was founded in 1835.
There have been seven bridges built across the North River the “Old Wooden Covered Bridge” lasted the longest. It was built in 1877 and was replaced in 1916. There was a span of 240 feet.
The settlers brought their religious traditions which have continued and blended throughout the years.
The First Church of the Brethren was located at the corner of Main Street and Oakwood Drive. The dedication ceremony had over 3000 attendees in 1878.
Baptism ceremonies were conducted in open water in 1899 it was noted that four inches of ice had to be cut from the North River to open a baptismal site for 41 members.
In 1880 D.C. Flory founded The Spring Creek Normal School, nine years later the name changed to Bridgewater College.
In 1937 The Church of the Brethren was torn down and another was built on College Avenue, this building became a part of Bridgewater College when the current Church of the Brethren was built on the hill overlooking the college in 1990.
The Dinkel Brothers laid out the Town of Bridgewater in the 1930’s