A bridge spanning a Finger Lake?

I found this interesting article in a book about Aaron Burr. It says there was a bridge across one of the Finger Lakes. My wife’s from Ithaca and we’ve lived several years in Scottsville. We’ve never heard of such a bridge. It might make an interesting article in the magazine.

Colin Richmond, Scottsville

After conducting a little research online, I discovered that indeed there was a bridge across the northern part of Cayuga Lake. The following information was compiled by Walter Gable, Seneca County Historian.

“The wooden bridge was 5,412 feet long, making it the longest bridge in the western hemisphere up to that time. The bridge was wide enough to allow three wagons abreast. At the eastern terminus of the bridge (where Cayuga, New York is today) were a tavern kept by Hugh Buckley and the first jail in Cayuga County. The Western terminus, aptly known as Bridgeport, had a toll house where the toll fee for use of the bridge was collected.

“The bridge’s success was immediate but short-lived. Built on mudsills rather than post pilings, the defective construction made it susceptible to ice and lake currents. The harsh winter of 1807 led to its collapse in 1808. For the next several years travelers were dependent again upon a ferry until a second bridge was completed September 28, 1813.”
— Editor

Dear editor,

When I travel I always use my GPS. Please educate your advertisers to include a zip code. More people will find them, and business will be better. Also, zip codes for places of interest in the editorial are helpful too.

Bill Doebler, Newark, New York

You did a wonderful job in telling about the canteen and BSMA NY#1 (page 14 of the Winter 2012 issue). We are truly grateful for the article, and your thinking of us.

Bonny Beck V.P., BSMA NY#1, Proud Navy and Marine Mom

I was in my allergists office recently, reading the winter 2012 issue of your magazine, when I came across the photo contest and saw the first place black and white winner as the “Stone Bug in Freeville.” I actually helped to build the stone VW back in the mid 70s. I hadn’t thought about that project in a long time (a friend was a Cornell architect student and this was a project for one of his professors).

Tom Ruane, Lansing

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