On March 3nd, 1781, something happened while George Washington and his entourage were crossing the Housatonic Rvier on their way to meet the French in Newport. Washington had spent the night before at the home of Colonel Andrew Morehouse of the Dutchess County Militia in Dover, New York.. Early the next morning he crossed into Kent, Connecticut on the road that lead to Jacob Bull's Bridge, where today can be found one of only two historic covered bridges still open to autiomobile traffic in the Nutmeg State.
Back then, the bridge was uncovered. In fact, it appears to have been in considerable disrepair. Washington's aide Tench Tilghman notes in his memoranda of expenses for this journey that $215 was paid for "Getting a horse out of Bulls Falls". Some people claim this figure as evidence that Washington's own horse went through or off the bridge and into the river. $215 in Continental currency was practically without value in March, 1781, so it would be wrong to assume from this sum that it was a particularly valuable horse that needed fishing out of the river. Still, it was importnant enough to Washington to bill its retrieval to the government, so it could have been his own mount. Certainly it has passed into local folklore that way.