1 vote

Cayuga Long Bridge


Cayuga Long Bridge

Photo taken by Paige Miller in April, 2012


BH Photo #349188

Street View 


The Cayuga Bridge Company was formed in 1797 to erect a bridge from Cayuga to the west shore of Cayuga Lake, serving as a "connecting link to the Great Genesee Road or Turnpike".

The Cayuga Bridge cost $150,000 and took 18 months to construct, opening for service in 1800. One mile and 8 rods long, and 22 feet wide, it was then the longest bridge in America and possibly the world.

This structure enabled the traveler to avoid the Montezuma marshes. Completed in 1800, it fell a few years later, in 1804, but was rebuilt in 1812-13 and again in 1833. In 1857 it was abandoned. This noted bridge served for years as a popular dividing point between the East and West.

The bridge has been described as a "wonderful achievement" and the source of a "great boom to the county".

There was continual travel on the Genesee Turnpike and across Cayuga Lake Bridge; all kinds of stage coaches carrying passengers; heavy wagons with heavy loads of all sizes drawn by oxen; people going through on horseback; and others hiking across the state on foot with bundles across their backs.


Lost Bridge over Cayuga Lake on trail
Cayuga, Cayuga County, New York
Removed but not replaced
Built 1800, collapsed 1804, rebuilt 1813, rebuilt 1833; Abandoned 1857
- Cayuga Bridge Co.
Total length: 5,412.0 ft. (1.0 mi.)
Deck width: 22.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.91833, -76.72972   (decimal degrees)
42°55'06" N, 76°43'47" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/358825/4753197 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 71093 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 25, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • February 22, 2016: Added by Paige Miller


Cayuga Long Bridge
Posted October 17, 2016, by David Patrickson (valhal55 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I lived in the Cayuga,NY area for a number of years and got interested in the bridge.

I have read it was built by The Manhattan Co. with Aaron Burr as an investor. Saw one report, wagon rate of $0.56

I have copies of handwritten notes from a woman that visited Cayuga in the 1880's and her father was removing the bridge posts. First build was with stone filled cribs.

I have a digital file and print of the only known rendition of the bridge done with a camera obscura device.

The Buffalo Historical Museum has the Bridgemaster's tally book(s) I'm told.

I've read a newspaper account that during the war of 1812 a cannon fell through the decking. I'm not sure if it was ever recovered. I've been looking for a picture of the bridge..no luck. Ithaca newspaper may have something?