Bridgetown is located on the banks of the Blackwood River in an apple and stone fruit growing district. John Allnutt was the first to introduce apples
in to the area around 1905 and today apple growing is one of the major industries.
The Bridgetown-Greenbushes Visitor Centre, located on Hampton Street at the northern end of town, has an interesting, and very unusual display of
jigsaw puzzles which have been mounted and hung on the walls. A recent catalogue of the display listed over 80 jigsaws including a huge 5000 piece puzzle
of Rembrandt's The Night Watch donated from Holland. There is also a small folk museum in the building with some interesting memorabilia from the local area.
In 2000, Bridgetown became the eighth town in W.A. to be granted Historic Town Status by the National Trust.
Scenic Drives in the Area
The Visitor Centre has a list of eight different drives in the area which include potteries, historic buildings and scenery.
The drives range from just 3km to a whopping 115km.
One of the first two houses built in the area in 1862, Bridgedale is one of the main historic attractions in the town. It was handed over to the National Trust in 1969.
St Paul's Anglican Church
At the junction of Phillips Street is St. Paul's Church which dates from 1911.
Bridgetown Jarrah Park
The combined efforts of CALM and the local community culminated in this park development which includes a commemoration of the timber industry.
Two trails take you through the historic sites of Bridgetown and Greenbushes as well as major historic buildings in the surrounding area.
The area has gradually changed from a farming base to a tourism base. This has been due to many people's desire to get away from the city and live on
small farmlets. This has resulted in an explosion of B and B's and holiday accommodation in the area.
Thomas Turner explored along the Blackwood River in 1834 and was followed in 1845 by
A.C. Gregory who returned again to survey the area in 1852.
John Blechynden and Edward Hester settled the area in 1857 (one source says 1861). Originally called Geegelup, it was first named in 1868. (The original name 'Geegeelup'
is thought to have derived from the Aboriginal word for the freshwater crayfish known today as 'gilgies' but it may also mean 'place of spears'.)
The town site was excised from part of Blechynden's land and with the words: 'Herewith I have the honour to forward a plan of the townsite laid out
at Geegelup. Some of the settlers wish me to suggest the name of Bridgetown - as it is at a bridge and the Bridgetown was the first ship to put
in at Bunbury for the wool from these districts. The name of the brook Geegelup is also a very good name and one by which the place is well known -
besides keeping up the native name'. the townsite was declared.
The Bridgetown Agricultural Society was first established in 1885.
In 1898 (one source says 1889) the town was connected to Donnybrook by rail and by 1911 the railway was extended to Manjimup.
The bridge near town is the longest jarrah bridge in W.A. In 1981, the jarrah bridge stretching 127.5 metres was built across the Blackwood
River. It was to be the last large timber bridge built in the state.
Read more about the history of Bridgetown.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
No information for this section yet. If you know of something we can add here please contact us and let us know.
Greenbushes Historical Park, Whitaker's Timber Mill, Swimming Pool, Bridgedale, Memorial Park, Brierley Jigsaw Gallery, Sutton's Lookout, Blackwood River Park, Jarrah Park, Blackwood Environment Centre (housed in the old railway station), River Park, Scenic drives and walk trails.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Maslin house 1870, Old police station 1880, Scott's Hotel pre 1890, Old cider factory 1890s, Nelson house 1890s, Post office 1911, Bridgedale, 1862, Freemason's Hotel 1904, Commonwealth Bank building 1909, National Bank building 1910, St. Paul's Church 1911, Bridgetown Hotel early 1920s.
State : Blackwood-Stirling
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6255
Local Government : Shire of Bridgetown
Local Government : Visitor Centre
Click on a thumbnail to see full sized picture.