Monday, September 14, 2020

Photos From the Road: Bridgeport, Part 1

Here's a new installment of trips from last month's visit to the High Sierras!

We spent most of our vacation in Bridgeport, one of my favorite places on earth. It's always good to see it come into view once more (above), and various signs around town made clear they were happy to welcome back visitors after travel was discouraged for much of the year due to COVID. The local economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

I've shared some Bridgeport movie location photos in years past, which are linked at the bottom of this post. For those who might be newer readers, director Jacques Tourneur filmed two wonderful movies in Bridgeport, OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and NIGHTFALL (1957).

The house above was "Ann's house" in OUT OF THE PAST, where Robert Mitchum picked up Virginia Huston for their fateful drive to Lake Tahoe.

Jeff Bailey's gas station was on the corner where the fire department is now located. The old white school building seen in the distance behind the gas station in the movie was moved to the town park, where it's now a museum, and a more modern school was built on its site. The original school was also seen in NIGHTFALL, where it was said to be a church.

Ken's Sporting Goods, below on the left, was the site of "Marny's Diner" in OUT OF THE PAST.

For more photos and information on location filming in Bridgeport, please check out the links at the bottom of this post.

The Mono County Courthouse, built in 1880, is also seen in the background in OUT OF THE PAST.

I love the quaint signs at the Silver Maple Inn.

Years ago the crew stayed here when filming a very minor crime film, HIGHWAY 395 (2000); we saw Fred Dryer around town working on the movie.

The Silver Maple Inn also operates the Cain House B&B next door.

I love the charming 1881 Coffee Cafe next door to the Cain House.

I stopped in each morning!

My favorite place in town is the High Sierra Bakery, established in 1952. This year there was a "socially distanced" line down the street and one person at a time entered to purchase their goodies.

The Barn has some of the best fast food you'll find anywhere. Love their burgers and Mexican food.

The picturesque Community Church:

Although the movie filmed in Wyoming, Bridgeport and its cemetery, which sits on a hill at the edge of town, had a strong influence on George Stevens and his design of the classic Western SHANE (1953).

Stevens was quoted in an interview describing Bridgeport as "very unlike other California towns" and described how it gave him ideas for SHANE: "There was the funeral on the hilltop, and there was the distance where the cattle grazed, and then there was the town at the crossing, a western town like other western towns were. There were the great mountains that rose behind it. This was all arranged in one camera view... That worked its way into the picture from an idea that came to me in Bridgeport, a small town in California."

Above is the sign for the Ruby Inn. If we're not camping outside of town, we always stay here!

Update: Photos From the Road: Bridgeport, Part 2.

Previous photos from this summer's road trip: Photos From the Road: Halfway House Cafe and Vasquez Rocks, Photos From the Road: Hot Creek Geological Site, and A Visit to Glen Haven Memorial Park.

Past photo posts on Bridgeport and local movie locations: Out of the Past (1947) in Bridgeport, California (2010); Independence Day in Bridgeport, California (2010); Back From the Sierras! (2012); Bridgeport, California Movie Locations (2014).


Blogger Margot Shelby said...

It's good you went on vacation. I haven't been since last year. Are the wildfires anywhere near where you live?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Margot!

We found getting away really helped our state of mind after all these months stuck at home - and it was easy to do it without doing much interacting with strangers.

We're close enough to the fires to be dealing with a lot of smoke and ash, but far enough away we're in no danger. The wind blows the smoke and ash for many miles! Thanks for asking.

Hope you are doing well! Our daughter has had very intense smoke in OR, how are you faring?

Best wishes,

11:32 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for this--- I haven't been there for a very long time, but it doesn't look like it's changed much.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Bill!

That's part of the beauty for me -- once in a while something happens like a storefront changes hands but for the most part Bridgeport is the same as I knew it as a small child in the late '60s. It's a place out of time.

Best wishes,

11:46 AM  
Blogger Margot Shelby said...

You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to the next vacation.

Smoke is indeed very intense here. We weren't quite sure a few days ago if we may have to evacuate. That danger is over. I think though that some of the counties here overreacted with the evacuations, which is quite typical for Portlandia. The fire could never have reached Portland, there's two rivers in the way.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Glad to hear you are safe from the horror of those fires, Laura. Seeing the news, you (and your daughter) have been on my mind quite a bit.

Thanks for these delightful snapshots of Bridgeport. As Mr. Sinatra would sing, "My kinda town".

2:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Margot, I'm sorry to hear you had to contemplate possibly evacuating. That's scary, and I'm so glad that danger passed. I hope by now the smoke is improving a little. I was grateful the fire outside Eugene seemed to stop progressing at the rate it was a week ago. Hope you can vacation soon!

The smoke here is finally better, you can smell it in the air but we weren't all orange and brown today!

Jerry, thank you so much for your good thoughts, deeply appreciated! And I'm so happy you enjoyed the photos. Definitely your kinda town!! I hope you can get back to CA one day. :)

Best wishes,

11:25 PM  

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