When Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware River, it is a shame he couldn’t have invited local historian Frank T. Dale along for the ride. Dale could have suggested the easiest crossing points.
Fortunately for contemporary readers, Dale has written a fascinating book chronicling thirty-five of the most historic bridges crossing the Delaware, some of which have served the residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for almost two centuries. Many of us take these bridges for granted as we speed across, impatient to reach our destination, but their histories are too interesting to ignore.
Dale brings us the stories behind each bridge, covering design, engineering, ownership, finances, and politics. He chronicles the life of each, from the original construction, through modifications, and, sometimes, through the bridges’ multiple destructions and reconstructions. Along the way, Dale recounts the history of the area surrounding each bridge, including the demise of ferry services, reasons why each bridge was built, politics surrounding construction, debates over public versus privately owned bridges, and stories of the floods and fires that threatened not only the bridges, but the local residents. Dozens of rare photos give readers a captivating window back into the past.
These fine old structures have become integral parts of Delaware River life and have an exciting past of their own. Bridges over the Delaware River will ensure that their legacies endure.