February 27, 1890 New-Haven-Register
THE ZOAR BRIDGE TOLL HOUSE: Commissioner Dunham
Says it must be Removed as it Endangers the Bridge Towers.
County Commissioner Dunham went to Zoar Bridge, yesterday, to consult with one of the Fairfield county commissioners with regard to the toll house on the Oxford side of the Housatonic River. When this bridge came into possession of the commissioners of New Haven and Fairfield counties last year, there was no further use for the toll house, the bridge having been made free. Recently the town of Oxford advertised the toll house for sale. The commissioners of both counties decided that it would be best to remove the building as it is dangerous to the wooden towers. The cables are supported by four wooden towers and in case of a fire in the toll house the bridge would be endangered as the toll house adjoins one of the towers. Commissioner Dunham gave notice that if the building was sold it must be removed. This building has been used for a toll house, country store, and residence for the toll-keeper's family. It has been a great place of resort and the people in the neighborhood desired it kept up. But when it became understood that the structure must be removed, the value was decreased at once and no satisfactory bids were made. The sale was therefore postponed
Commissioner Dunham says that it was a great mistake to build the bridge with wooden towers, as the use of iron could not have cost much more. There was formerly an old wooden structure at this place controlled by a toll bridge company. When the Birmingham dam was built it caused a raising of the river so that the bridge was swept away. Subsequently the company surrendered its charter, not feeling disposed to erect an iron bridge. The town of Monroe and Oxford accordingly built the present iron bridge at a cost of $13,000. The bridge was rented for a tol bridge, first at $400, and subsequently at $350, the price paid the last year the public paid tolls.
Commissioner Dunham says that the toll house must soon be removed from its present site whether the building is sold or not.