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2. The History

A short warm up stroll around Bull's Bridge Scenic Loop reveals dramatic views of gorges and waterfalls that swirl and tumble beneath the covered bridge.

Issac Bull built the first bridge here in 1760 to carry iron ore and charcoal across the river. The first five bridges built here were not covered. Over the years, one bridge replaced another as each was washed away by high water and ice. The original covered bridge was finished prior to 1811 and named after its builder, Jacob Bull. The bridge became an important link on the road between Newburg on the Hudson and Hartford. The bridge you see today was rebuilt in 1842.

During the Revolutionary War, Kent was well known for its strategic location on the marching road between Lebanon, the Continental supply depot and Washington's New York headquarters. Kent was far enough away from the Hudson area and the coast to provide safe provisioning posts, such as those at Bull's Bridge, yet close enough to bring up reserves in case of emergency. Bull's Bridge provided a critical link to the road known as the galloping highway because of the great speed that could be made on horseback between Newburg and Hartford.

Local history has documented that George Washington had an accident at Bull's Bridge in 1781. What has happened has never been told in detail, but one thing is clear; one of his horses, perhaps his own mount, fell in the raging Housatonic River. One exciting bit of confirmation regarding this incident appears in George Washington's own expense account for March 3, 1781. The first travel expense of the day noted: getting a horse out of Bull's Bridge Falls, $215.00. The size of the item indicates that it involved quite a rescue operation. It must have taken time and the General was on his way to make plans with the French for naval support of New York against the British. Any ordinary horse might have been allowed to stay in the river. So, it might be assumed that this was no ordinary horse, and perhaps it was Washington's own mount. Today, we can only wonder.