Quoted verbatim from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater,_Virginia
Among the first families of European descent in the area were the Dinkle family. Around 1810, John Dinkle built asawmill and a grist mill on the North River, a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The tiny community was first called Dinkletown.
The name was changed to Bridgeport, because it was a flatboat port at a bridge. Even after it was no longer a port, the bridge was still there, hence the final renaming as Bridgewater.
In the late 19th century, Bridgewater received railroad service to connect it with Harrisonburg and beyond as theChesapeake Western Railway was built. It came under the control of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1954 and Norfolk Southern in 1982. The tracks were removed in 1987.