The settlement had its beginnings when Urias and Manuel Nye built a trading post here in 1849. The small camp was first known as Nyes Landing and was not destined for greatness, as little mining occurred in the area. Mrs. D. B. Bates, a traveler, saw the place in 1851 and was unimpressed by the three shanties and toll bridge which then made up the camp. The place later came to be known as Bridgeport for the fine covered bridge which was built to replace the earlier toll bridge.