The bridge is known as the Lower Toll Bridge. The original toll bridge at this location was built in 1818 by Abel Hildreth, a local Thomaston carpenter and joiner, and replaced a ferry used until that time. The toll keeper’s gate is on the left side of the photo. Zephaniah Everton, who lived at Watson’s Point (on the right side of the photo) was appointed toll-keeper, and to the end of his life received a pension for his dedicated service.

The bridge spans the St. George or Georges River between Thomaston and Cushing via the River Road. The two houses on the upper right are still standing on the hill known as Brooklyn Heights, a moniker supposed to have originated with Thomaston resident Captain James Killeran (b. 1814), who lived for a time in Brooklyn, NY.

The hill slopes down on the western side of the river and was the site of part of the O’Brien and Burgess shipyard from which many ships and schooners were launched from the 1850s until the last of the big schooners were built in the early 20th century by Dunn and Elliot. The drawbridge allowed the passage of vessels from Warren into the Atlantic Ocean and provided trading access to the US coast, the Caribbean and Europe.

The hill was stripped of all forestation, the lumber being used either for shipbuilding or as firewood for the many limekilns that populated the area.

Jeff’s Marine now occupies this site just south and west of the bridge.

Margaret McCrea
Historian
Thomaston Historical Society

Catalog Number LB2007.1.102727