Center Bridge

The Center Bridge community was original named Reading's Ferry, after the early 18th century boat service between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Development thrived along the river at the ferry dock, with taverns, farmsteads and fisheries serving this important transportation route between New York City and Philadelphia.

The fierce competition between ferry operators up and down the river led to the construction of a wooden toll bridge across the Delaware, the first "Center Bridge." The wooden bridge was swept away by a flood in 1841, was rebuilt and survived the great flood of 1903, only to be struck by lightning and burned 20 years later.

Edward-Willis-RedfieldWith each rebuilding of the bridge the surrounding community expanded. The construction of the Delaware Canal brought more commerce, and the establishment of a post office, school house, general store and a tavern, which operates today as the Center Bridge Inn.

While the advent of the railroads shifted commerce away from the bridge and canal, the village remained a central trading hub for local farmers. The turn of the last century attracted impressionist landscape artists, who took up residence on and around the Paxson estate to form the prominent "New Hope School."

Designated a historic district in 1985, the village of Center Bridge is a living testament to our community's long relationship with and dependence on the Delaware River.