The first commercial crossing of the Delaware River at Easton was a ferry enfranchised to David Martin in 1739.
Located near the present site of Scott Park at the junction of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, it operated until the beginning of the nineteenth century. After about a half-century of use, the ferry could no longer adequately serve commerce and was replaced with a covered, wooden bridge that was opened to traffic on October 14, 1806.
The covered bridge was designed and built by Timothy Palmer, one of the foremost bridge builders of his time. By the late nineteenth century, when horse-drawn streetcars were replaced by trolley cars, the old wooden bridge could no longer handle the demands of traffic and a new structure was erected at Northampton Street.
The Northampton Street Bridge, also known as the "Free Bridge," was designed by James Madison Porter III, a graduate of nearby Lafayette College with a degree in civil engineering, who hailed from a family long prominent in Easton and Pennsylvania history.
The Northampton Street Bridge is designated as an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Karl Stirner Arts Trail
City of Easton, Pennsylvania