Take a step back in time with the friendly folks at Bridgeton
By: Marilyn Mitchell Payton
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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