The Dingman's Ferry Bridge is the last privately owned toll bridge on the Delaware River and one of the last few in the United States. It is owned and operated by the Dingmans Choice and Delaware Bridge Company.
A house was built near the present-day bridge in 1803 by Judge Daniel W. Dingman, who was said to hold court in his bare feet. Still standing, the house is on the State and National historic registers.
The first bridge lasted until 1847 when high water washed away the Milford Bridge upstream and swept the debris into Dingman's Bridge.
A third bridge was constructed in 1856, but, being of poor quality, it fell apart by 1862. The ferry was operated once again by the Dingmans until the property was sold in 1875 to John W. Kilsby, Sr. Kilsby's family operated the ferry until the turn of the twentieth century when the current bridge was constructed using some materials recycled from a railroad bridge on the Susquehanna River. This bridge has survived major floods in 1903, 1955, 2005, and 2006.
Records from an early log book show tolls of 40 cents for a horseless carriage, 25 cents for a two-horse wagon, 10 cents for a horse and rider, 5 cents for a bicycle, and 2 cents for a footman. Under the terms of the original charter, no toll was charged for individuals traveling to church or a funeral, a custom which is still practiced presently
Today's tolls are not much higher than previously noted. Automobiles pay $1.00. Books of forty coupons can be purchased from the toll collector for $20.00. This effectively lowers the toll to 50 cents if the entire book of coupons is used. (Even though they are paper and not coin, these coupons are known locally as "bridge tickets".) Bicyclists may cross for free, but pedestrians are not allowed due to the narrow lanes. An 11 foot height restriction coupled with a weight restriction of four tons precludes large RVs and trucks from crossing. Although the bridge is within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, government employees pay the toll, unless responding to an emergency with lights and sirens on. A breakdown of all current tolls can be found on the bridge's website The bridge is one of only two bridges that charges a toll to enter New Jersey, along with the Delaware River-Turnpike Toll Bridge on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes.
Christmas Day is the only day of the year which finds the toll booth unmanned; everyone may cross for free. Dingman's Bridge is also remarkable in that there is a single toll collector who stands in between the single lanes of traffic, collecting toll fees by hand.
Text is adapted from the NPS website below