The Leavitt House
he old Leavitt House, now the Bridgeport
Inn, has been a popular stop since its construction in 1877. Hiram L. Leavitt,
a native of New Hampshire, hired builder Sam Hopkins to supervise
the construction of his new family home.
family had settled in Indian Valley (now known as
West Walker River in 1865. When Hopkins had completed the
house, Leavitt brought his family and his stage stop business with
him to Bridgeport. Hiram remained a prominent
citizen of Bridgeport, even serving as Judge of Mono County. He
lived in the home until he died in 1901 at the age of 77.
fter the Leavitt House
was finished, Sam Hopkins began a family of his own, marrying
Hirams daughter, Ida.
The White Lady
arah, a young woman distraught by her fiancée accidental death a short time before their planned wedding, still roams the Bridgeport Inn in Room 16. It was there, dressed in her white wedding gown, that she hung herself.
Read the full details of Sarah and Mac.
explorers and emigrants discovered the Bridgeport Valley beginning
about 1827 when a party led by Jedediah Strong Smith crossed
the Sierra and picked up gold in the foothills around Mono
ohn C. Fremont led
several expeditions across the Sierra. One journey, begun
in May 1843 in Kansas, resulted in Fremont, along with his guide,
Kit Carson, camping in the Bridgeport Valley before continuing
on to cross the Sierra and arrive at Sutter’s Fort on March 8, 1844.
miles south of Bridgeport, the first placer gold mining settlement
in the Eastern Sierra was formed at Dogtown in 1859 . A
settlement of 70 Mormon families sprang to life in short order,
but the small town lasted just a few years; the gold played
out, and the miners moved a few miles further south to Monoville.
n the late 1850’s,
rich gold and silver deposits were also discovered in nearby
Bodie, Masonic and Aurora. Modern day prospectors continue
to look for gold on the slopes of 12,374 foot-high Dunderberg
Peak, considered the source of the Dogtown placer gold.
County & Bridgeport
County was formed by the California legislature in 1861 with
Aurora as the county seat. In September 1863, however,
the “Sage Brush Survey” — after
much debate — determined that Aurora was,
in fact, just across the border in Nevada. Choosing
to have a California town as the county seat, the county offices
were moved to Bridgeport.
he Bridgeport Courthouse,
a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, along with the Bridgeport
Inn, has dominated the town of Bridgeport since its completion
on April 1, 1881, and remains today as one of the few structures
that reveal what was once the New England appearance of old
oday, Bridgeport is the
jumping-off point for northern Mono County adventures and attractions,
as well as nearby Nevada Casinos and Mammoth Mountain skiing. Modern
US Highway 395 provides easy access to the north (Reno-Tahoe),
south (Death Valley, Los Angeles and Las Vegas), east (Salt
Lake City), and west (Yosemite and Sonora).
ravelers going South to
Death Valley and Las Vegas, or those going North to Lake Tahoe
and San Francisco, stop and visit for a day or two to enjoy
nearby historic sites. Families, motorcyclists, retirees,
artists, photography buffs, car club members and vacationers
all come to the Eastern High Sierras to enjoy the snow-capped
mountains, clean streams, wildflowers, and the rugged remains
of the early-California.