KNOWN as the "Gateway to Ohio," Bridgeport also is known for its athletes including three Bridgeport High School products who have been inducted into national halls of fame.
A billboard located on Interstate 70 near the riverfront town bears the names of several outstanding Bridgeport area athletes including Phil Niekro, John Havlicek, Bobby Douglas, John Blatnik, Bill Jobko and Joe Niekro.
Phil Niekro was selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1997. Havlicek, who was considered by Ohio State coach Woody Hayes as one of OSU's four greatest athletes, is in the National Baskeball Hall of Fame, and Douglas was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1987.
The Zanes, who are prominent in Ohio Valley history as well as infrontier history elsewhere, are linked to Bridgeport.
Col. Ebenezer Zane was responsible for the mapping of the town in 1806, and it initially was known as Canton. Zane also was instrumental in the establishment of several other towns as well as for the construction of Zane's Trace through the wilderness from Wheeling to Limestone (Maysville), Ky.
The Zanes also were constructed a covered bridge between Bridgeport and Wheeling Island, and it was completed in 1838.
Although the Zanes were important in Bridgeport's history, Capt. Robert Kirkwood is credited with its settlement in 1789. A portion of the town still bears his family name and is known as Kirkwood Heights.
"Gateway to the West" was the nickname acquired by Bridgeport when the National Road was being built. It was coined because of the great number of travelers and of goods transported through Bridgeport.
The town once was home to a saloon, known for having "the longest bar in the world." Measuring 140 feet long and tended by 14 regularly employed bartenders, the bar was in a saloon which closed in 1919.
Operated by the Ungerleider brothers, it was in the old Opera House on North Lincoln Avenue.
Businesses in the riverfront community are marked by variety.
In addition to recreational facilities, the town also has a public library which was dedicated in the latter part of 2000 with the ceremony involving several of the village's notable athletes.
The Bridgeport area also is home to the official Bicentennial Bridge for Ohio. The Blaine Bridge, which was constructed in 1826 as part of the National Road, has that designation, and efforts are under way to stabilize the historic span.
Quick facts about Bridgeport
Median Age: 40.4
Housing units: 1,090
CU GalleriesView All Galleries »