Established in 1763, the town was once known as Mast Camp, because it was the shipping point for the tall masts floated down the river by English settlers. Incorporated in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, it was named for Sir Samuel Cornish, a distinguished admiral of the Royal Navy. Cornish has historically been and continues to be a well-known summer resort for artists and writers. Seeking a studio away from the summer heat of New York City, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens began coming to Cornish in 1885. Artist friends followed him, and the area became center of the popular Cornish Art Colony. Cornish is the site of the second longest wooden covered bridge in the United States, and the longest two-span covered bridge in the World. The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, was built in 1866 at an original cost of $9,000.