The Harvard Bridge is one of the simplest and least adorned bridges over the Charles. It looks plain when compared to the Longfellow Bridge, which has the prows of Viking ships decorating its base, or the Anderson Bridge, with its entrance piers decorated with armor and mantling. The Harvard Bridge seems so anonymous that it is often called the wrong name and referred to as the MIT Bridge or the Mass. Ave Bridge. But the Harvard Bridge is great and its history is there for everyone to see, if they just look.
When the American Revolution erupted in 1775, the lavish estates along Tory Row (or the houses of the seven families that lived along Brattle Street and were incredibly wealthy, politically conservative, and loyal to the British crown) were seized by the Continental Army. Some were used to house the officers, others as hospitals, and one was the home and headquarters of General George Washington.