Bridgewater is a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Our town is home to Bridgewater College, varied industries and stores, and comfortable residential neighborhoods. Here are some of the things that make Bridgewater special, in no particular order:

Generations Park

This park, at the hub of Bridgewater’s growing downtown area, features a southwest grill, summer attractions and an ice skating rink in season.


The Lawn Party

The Lawn Party may look like an ordinary summer fair, but it’s part carnival, part food fest and a whole lot of steam and gas engines.

Bridgewater College

This is a liberal arts college with friendliness and character offering many cultural events and other opportunities otherwise unavailable in a town this size.

This is a riverside park with a suspension bridge, a picnic shelter, and spectacular views of the North River.

Par 3 and mini-golf

Sandy Bottom Park offers par 3 and mini-golf in season. The par 3 is located next to the North River with beautiful views and mature trees.

North River Library

Located next to Oakdale Park, the library features a well-maintained collection and special programming.

Little League

A youth baseball-softball program with adult leadership that really knows the game. Home fields are at Oakdale Park.

Frequently asked questions about Bridgewater

Bridgewater’s Lawn Party is a summer celebration that includes carnival-type rides, lots of good food, an antique car show, the Firemen’s Parade, and other events. It is held in the heart of Bridgewater, on the Lawn Party Grounds (also known as Harrison Park). People come from all over for the Bridgewater Lawn Party experience. It goes on for the better part of a week, and the proceeds go to support the Bridgewater Fire Department.

The short answer to this question is that the town is named after the bridge over the North River. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. Even before the time of the early settlers, there was a natural crossing point near where today’s Route 42 crosses the river and becomes Main Street of Bridgewater going north. The oldest recorded name of this crossing is Magill’s Ford, after the Magill family, Scotch-Irish immigrants who owned the nearby land. Around 1820 Jacob Dinkle built the town’s first bridge, and the name of the community was changed to “Bridgeport,” reflecting the presence of a river port for shipping. When the town was first granted a charter in 1835, it was under the current name of “Bridgewater.”

That’s the steeple of Bridgewater College’s Carter Center for Worship and Music at the corner of College and Third streets. This building was built as the home of the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and served in that capacity until 1998, when the Church moved into its current building on the hill served by College View Drive. For many years, visitors assumed that the building was owned by the College because visually it appeared to be part of the campus. With the transfer of the building to Bridgewater College in 1998, that became correct.

The North River is a typical Eastern U.S. river, with diverse fish species including largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish, catfish and a variety of bottom-feeding fish such as carp and suckers. Trout find their way into the North River from tributaries such as Mossy Creek, an excellent trout stream. Unfortunately, from the viewpoint of local game fishermen, the water quality of the North River is not high enough to permit the bass to dominate the other species — and so, to some extent, the carp have “taken over.” The most common large fish in the river are carp.

Answer: Live in Bridgewater.

Actually, that’s a joke, sort of. Bridgewater is to a large degree a residential community, in that a lot of people live in Bridgewater but work in other localities including Harrisonburg. However, the town is far more than a bedroom community for Harrisonburg, with community resources and a flavor all its own.

About 1,800. The college is at or near its highest enrollments in history, but is committed to retaining the small-college atmosphere.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

William Magill first settled along the North River in 1746, and the area became known as Magill’s Ford.[5] The first bridge across the North River was built in 1820, and for a time the young community was known as Bridgeport.[5] The Town received its charter from the Virginia General Assembly on February 7, 1835, then incorporated as Bridgewater.[6] Every February 7, the Town holds an annual Charter Day celebration with fireworks.

Bridgewater College is located within the Town, and was first established in 1880.[7] The college has grown along with the Town, now enrolling more than 1,800 students.[8]

Since the creation of the Town in 1835, Bridgewater has endured six major floods, including a devastating flood in 1949 that claimed two lives.[9][10] As a result, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed a long earthen levee to protect large portions of the Town against future flooding.[11]

Since the mid-1990s, the Town has held a “Summer’s End Celebration” on Labor Day each year.[12] The event has grown to include a 5k race, carnival rides, and live music and is attended by thousands of people.[13]

It’s a fact of life that in a small television market like ours, turnover is generally rapid. We might get used to a particular news anchor or weather person, who then moves on to another job. If you don’t happen to be watching on that person’s last day on the job, you might never hear anything more. So, for all the TV 3 fans in the area, here’s a listing of TV3 alumni (no claim is made about completeness or accuracy):

  • Devin Turk, news: now anchor for NBC2 in Ft. Myers, FL.
  • Morgan Donnelly, evening news anchor: left to pursue other interests in North Carolina.
  • Meridith Morrow (now Binette), news: TV spokesperson and voiceover talent in Florida (at TV3 in 1996) Meredith reports that in those days it was a “tough place to work, but great learning experience!”
  • Dave Byknish, news: social media producer at KXAN in Austin, TX.
  • Melanie Lofton, anchor: reporter at KEYE-TV in Austin, TX.
  • J. J. Davis, sports director and anchor: now Sports Director at CBTV-17, Council Bluffs, IA.
  • Brendan Ponton, reporter: reporter at WTKR-TV, Hampton Roads, VA.
  • Kirk Clyatt, meteorologist: meteorologist for WVIR-TV, Charlottesville, VA.
  • Carly Stephenson, news: reporter with Time Warner Cable News in Charlotte, NC.
  • Litsa Pappas, news: reporter with Time Warner Cable News in Charlotte, NC.
  • Mallory Brooke, weather: weekend meteorologist at WMTW-TV, Portland, ME.
  • Josh Knight, weather: meteorologist, WKRC-TV, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Janelle Lilley, news: reporter, KATV-TV, Little Rock, AR.
  • Yuna Lee, anchor: morning anchor and reporter, KHBS-KHOG 40/29, Ft. Smith-Fayetteville, AR.
  • Jazmin Bailey, news: morning traffic reporter, WESH-2, Orlando, FL.
  • Gloria Balding, anchor: reporter/anchor at KAKE-TV, Wichita, KS.
  • Jamie Curott, anchor at WCAV-CBS19 in Charlottesville, VA, using the on-air name Madeline Curott.
  • Alyson Bruner, weekday anchor and reporter: anchor and reporter at KSHB in Kansas City
  • Keith Jones, morning anchor: Weekday Morning Anchor at NBC10 in Philadelphia, after a time at WTAE-Pittsburgh
  • Val Thompson, news anchor: Stay-at-home dad to his 2 girls and working a little at ABC4 in Salt Lake City, helping to produce the 10 p.m. newscast and doing some reporting.
  • J.J. Davis, sports: Back at TV3 after a time as Sports Director at KPTM Fox-42, Omaha and WSLS-10, Roanoke
  • Meg Gatto, news Reporter for WGNO, Channel 26, ABC affiliate in New Orleans, LA
  • Jamie Curott, news anchor: Penn State Outreach News and Communications, after a time as news reporter at WJAC TV-6 in Johnstown, PA
  • Melissa Tune, news: Augusta, GA at the CBS affiliate, WRDW-TV, after Army Reserves and Pentagon duty; previously reporter/anchor WWBT NBC12, Richmond
  • Megan Bennett, weather: Senior Meteorolgist at WVLT in Knoxville, TN, after a time in weather and environmental reporting at KEYE (CBS 42) in Austin, TX (she now goes by Megan Campbell)
  • Tim Saunders, former weekend anchor/reporter: Lynchburg Bureau Chief at WDBJ-TV, Roanoke
  • Joe Downs, sports director: Sports director at WLIO (NBC35) in Lima, Ohio after a brief time at WVIR NBC29-Charlottesville
  • Lauren McKay Now Lauren McKay Cummings, at TV3-Winchester after a time as producer with Newschannel 8 (Maryland-Virginia-DC)
  • Michelle Smith, news anchor: Anchor with CBS 6 WRGB in Albany, NY; earlier at WWLP-NBC in Springfield, MA as anchor/reporter
  • Mariam Nabizad, news: Reporter at KTVT-CBS in Dallas after stints at WSMV-TV NBC Nashville and the Ohio News Network, Cincinnati Bureau
  • Sonia Randev, news: Community Television (CTV) of Prince George’s in Maryland
  • Meryl Conant, news: Reporter at WCBD (NBC- Count on 2), Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Ed Reams, news reporter: Assistant news director for WISN-TV in Milwaukee in 2011, after coming back to TV3 as News Director beginning August 2006, from WDSU 6 (NBC) in New Orleans, after stops in Roanoke, Raleigh and Atlanta
  • Jim Javinsky, news: Video Director for the Thom Hartmann Program (nationally syndicated radio and TV talk show broadcast from Washington, DC)
  • Jay Webb, weather: WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, weekend weather anchor
  • Melissa DiPane, Augusta County reporter: Reporter for FOX-35 in Orlando, FL, after stints at WATE-Knoxville, WJLA Newschannel 8 Washington and WSET, ABC Channel 13, Lynchburg, Va.
  • Amy Kehm, news: WHTM-27, Harrisburg, PA as producer/reporter
  • Meredyth Censullo, news-weather: Full-time “Traffic and Transportation” reporter for WTSP, Tampa Bay’s 10 news; earlier, news anchor, WJHL (CBS affiliate) in Johnson City, TN
  • Jennifer Watson, news: Reporter for WXIA Channel 11 in Atlanta
  • Cyndi Todd: Freelance producer in Atlanta
  • Mike Hoss, news: After stops in Oklahoma and Texas, now 10:00 weeknight anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Ron Magnuson, news: Co-anchor for Eyewitness News WSOC-9 in Charlotte Saturday Morning + still reporting Tuesday through Friday
  • Adam Kramer, Augusta County reporter 2001-2003: Left broadcasting; now manager and senior broker for Ameriprise Financial, outside New York City
  • Amy Gleason, Daybreak Producer/Anchor: Financial reporter with an information specialist company in Charlottesville.
  • Rob Boisvert, news: Moving to Morning Anchor in both the Charlotte and Raleigh markets, News 14 Charlotte, after a time at WSOC Charlotte.
  • John Gawthrop, producer: Executive Producer for News 14 Raleigh, utilizing a three market system with all production coming through the Raleigh station
  • Kate Ferrall, news: Has her own production company and is a freelance executive producer for the Discovery networks–TLC, Discovery Health Channel, and Discovery Channel in Silver Spring
  • Tara Brown, news anchor: Morning anchor at WEAR-TV in Pensacola, FL after a time as 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor at KODE-TV12 in Joplin, Missouri.
  • Joey Groah, Creative Services Director: co-owner and producer for Harrisonburg-based full-service production company, Digico (
  • Jarrod Aldom, news: Sports Director at WCAV in Charlottesville.
  • Josh Chernikoff, sports: In Philadelphia to pursue jobs with professional sports teams.
  • Danielle Banks, news and weather Weather Channel Radio (with occasional appearances on Weather Channel TV), after stints at WTZN-43 and WATE, both in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Rachel DePompa, news: To WWBT-NBC 12 as Richmond City Reporter after being at WDBJ-7 CBS Roanoke and Bristol, VA/TN, WCYB TV-5
  • Kirsten Gladding, 5 p.m. anchor: Left the news business; moved home to Tucson, AZ to be with family; plans to pursue public relations in Tucson; will marry her fiance once he returns from Iraq.
  • Susan Bahorich, Daybreak anchor/reporter: Sunday morning anchor/4day a week reporter, WDBJ-7 in Roanoke as of 1/5/04.
  • John Donnelly: KRIV-26 FOX in Houston, after six years in Memphis
  • Jane Smith, news anchor: Reporter/fill-in anchor at KGW in Portland, Oregon, after a time at WALA-Fox, Mobile, Ala.
  • Thomas Tobin, reporter: Producer at WTTG FOX-5 Washington, after a time at NBC12/FOX-Richmond
  • George Kessler, weather: KBJR TV 6 (NBC affiliate in Duluth, MN), as chief meteorologist; then started a computer accessory manufacturing firm, developing mouses and mouse pads for children.
  • Erin Tate, news: full-time reporter for WCMH, NBC Channel 4, Columbus, OH
  • Dan Bewley, Daybreak and noon anchor: Reporter, Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Bob Radford, sports: Bristol, VA/TN, WCYB TV-5, weekend sports anchor
  • Melissa Reynolds, news: Now Melissa Reynolds Whetzel, news manager for the College of Charleston’s Division of Marketing and Communications, Charleston, SC. Previously with the Charleston Trident Home Builders Association, after stints at ABC News 4 in Charleston and WCYB-Bristol (TN/VA).
  • Heather Peterson, News Producer: News Producer at WTKR NewsChannel 3, Norfolk, Va.
  • Chris Suchan, news-weather: morning/noon meteorologist for WTSP-10 in Tampa Bay (CBS affiliate)
  • Joelle Girone, news anchor: WKRC TV12 in Cincinnati after stints at WLWT-NBC in Cincinnati and the Dayton, Ohio, ABC-TV affiliate
  • Richard Ortner, weather: Meteorologist, KMGH- Denver
  • Julie Bidwell, news anchor: FOX News as Julie Banderas, after a time at New York City’s Fox affiliate.
  • Robin Reed, weather: WDBJ-7 weather, Roanoke, Va.
  • John Agresti, news reporter: News 14 Carolina-Charlotte, after at time at WALA-Fox, Mobile, Ala.
  • Tom Patton, weather WWBT-NBC Richmond, after a time at WHO-NBC, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Libby Gardner, news anchor: TV production job in Austin, Texas
  • Michael Friedmann, weather: WTIC (Fox) 61, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Ross Guidotti, news reporter: Reporter, KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jen Lesmerises, weather: No longer morning anchor/noon anchor at WGGB-TV News 40, Springfield, Mass.
  • Rob Toomer, news reporter: Richmond TV station for a time, then back to JMU for master’s degree studies
  • Bill George: Working for Massanutten Resort
  • Channa Brooks, news anchor: Left broadcasting to go into public relations in New York after working as anchor at WCTI ABC, New Bern, N.C.
  • Gene Cox, news anchor: WWBT-12, Richmond
  • Tracey Neale, news anchor: WUSA-9 Washington-DC after a time at Washington, D.C.’s WTTG FOX-5
  • Beth Parker, news: WTTG-5, Washington, D.C.
  • Kevin Schultze, news: WJLA-7, Washington, D.C.
  • Chrissy Russo, news-anchor: Morning weathercaster at FOX-6 in San Diego after a time at WTKR-3 (CBS), Norfolk
  • Michelle Mowery: Communications Director for the Tennessee Department of Family Services, after other public relations work in Nashville and a stint at ABC 24 in Memphis
  • Ron Magnuson, news: Bureau reporter at WSOC-9 in Charlotte
  • Dave Ferguson: Champaign, Ill., station
  • Steve Raml: Left KRCR-TV, ABC affiliate in Chico-Redding, California after 5 years; moved to Phoenix, thought to be in TV there.
  • Brian North, sports: WCTI-TV, sports director, New Bern, N.C., ABC affiliate
  • Andrew Speno, weekend anchor: News Anchor for FOX 25 News, Oklahoma City
  • Karen Shroeder, anchor and reporter: Indianapolis, Indiana; then to Pittsburgh as anchor
  • Mindy Bassiro: Johnstown to Pittsburgh to Baltimore