Barnesville was a historic title for the area around the corner of Grand Avenue & East Street and towards the Mill River. It was named for real estate developer & oyster farmer Eli Barnes who built an inn along Grand Avenue around 1812 after his marriage, called the Lafayette Hotel, which was adorned with a swinging portrait of General Lafayette on front. There were only a few other smaller structures in the area during the first quarter of the 19th century. The first bridge across the Mill River at this location was built privately in part by Eli Barnes in 1819 and provided a more direct route to Fair Haven from New Haven’s center. Prior to this the only route to Fair Haven was up State Street where it crosses the Mill River. The original bridge soon fell into disrepair and the City began to upgrade and replace it over the years. Source book