Video traces 200 years of the New Hope -Lambertville Bridge
On Sunday, February 7 at 2 PM, WHYY TV in Philadelphia will air the New Hope Historical Society’s documentary video that traces the two-hundred year history of the New Hope-Lambertville bridge. The Society produced the film in conjunction with Delaware Valley Video of Lambertville, New Jersey.
On September 12, 1814 the Board of Directors of the New Hope Delaware Bridge Company called a special meeting to declare the bridge “this day ready for crossing.” The Board authorized that a dinner be prepared to which the contactor and workmen were invited.
About a year and a half in the making, the documentary, “The New Hope-Lambertville Bridge: Connecting Two Towns-Spanning Two Centuries” includes rarely seen images of the bridge from the past two hundred years. Experts, historians and residents of the two communities have contributed their perspectives and knowledge about the bridge’s great history.
Eminent bridge designer and engineer, Lewis Wernwag was selected by the New Hope Delaware Bridge Company headed by Benjamin Parry in February, 1813. Wernwag was well known around our young country for his grand designs of bridges. The most prominent at the time was the “Colossus” that spanned the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia from the area now occupied by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the west bank of the river.
New Hope became the industrial and manufacturing capitol of Bucks County and Lambertville’s industrial growth blossomed after the bridge had been opened.
“We are truly excited about this television presentation,” said Historical Society president, Carole Martin. “I congratulate all of those who have dedicated so much time, research and effort to tell the story about the amazing history of the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge,” she added.
Roy Ziegler, chairman of the committee that produced the documentary is past president and current member of the Society’s board of directors. He praised the Historical Society’s board for its strong support of the project. “From the very beginning our board of directors voiced its unanimous backing for this project. We have been fortunate to receive donations from the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau, Wells Fargo Bank, Brian C. Meadows, Ballard Sparh, LLP and Andy Prestipino,” he added.
The documentary begins with the story about the ferry operations in both towns that were used for generations before General George Washington and the entire Continental Army crossed there in June, 1778 on their march from Valley Forge to the strategically important Battle of Monmouth. It traces the growth of commerce and industry that bridge travel brought to both sides of the Delaware River. The disastrous floods that destroyed the bridge in 1841 and 1903 and the worst of them in 1955 are chronicled, as well as the crippling floods of the early 21st century.
Copies of the DVD documentary are available on line for $15 plus shipping costs from the Historical Society at www.newhopehs.org.