Mono County Museum  

Bridgeport, CA










Hours &  Fees






Walking Tour of Bridgeport

Planning a trip to Bridgeport?  Consider taking a walking tour and learn about the history of the people and places.

Around 1859, ranchers began setting claims down this lush valley known initially as "Big Meadow(s)" by the Paiutes.  There were no nearby land offices for recording claims which made possession the rule until much of it was surveyed and mapped by September 1961, thereby protecting interests.  It was necessary to ford the East Walker River for access to the many Mono Diggings camps, and settlers realized the potential for good business at the crossing.  Freight wagons and other travelers would need a stop (or "port") for a meal, supplies, and cattle tending.  The "Port with a Ford" as it was known, transitioned to "Port with a Bridge" resulting in a play on words that the New Englanders liked as Bridgeport. 

Mono County was established in 1861 with Aurora set as the seat of justice.  After a two-year CA/NV boundary survey concluded in September of 1863, Aurora was realized to be within the Nevada border which prompted a zealous, overnight transference of county records to the American Hotel in Bridgeport.  The hotel was leased first then quickly purchased to be the courthouse, surely securing the seat in Bridgeport where it has remained since winning the 1864 Mono County Seat election.

Click here for a copy of the walking tour guide.


Copyright 2021 Mono County Historical Society

Updated on 01/13/2021