A view from the bridge
No walking tour or history tour or food tour of Mystic is complete without a “view from the bridge”. The current bascule bridge over the Mystic River has been operating since 1922 — but folks have been crossing some kind of bridge at that location for over 200 years.
Early crossers would have seen large stands of timber on either side of the river. That timber was on slopes leading down to the deepwater estuary — perfect for moving it down to the water for shipbuilding.
Bridge-crossers in the mid 1800s would have seen countless masts, topmasts and networks of rigging from the sealing, whaling and cargo craft that sheltered from the open sea in the Mystic estuary.
Also in the 1800’s huge wooden ships in various stages of development were lining the shores. By necessity, shipbuilding took place adjacent to the river to facilitate launching. The pounding of tools and humming of saws would have inundated the air as one crossed the bridge.
Early American impressionists, drawn to the area by the scenic maritime vistas and unique sky and cloud formations, found inspiration in views like this one from the bridge. Next time you cross the bridge, take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the history and the view.