Brief History of Bridgetown
Lying on the banks of the mighty Blackwood River , Bridgetown is located 267kms from Perth in the south-west of Western Australia in the heart of the timber country. The area was first explored by
Thomas Turner in 1834 who was exploring the Blackwood River upstream from Augusta to Arthur River.
Ten years later surveyor A.C. Gregory explored the area but it would take a further ten years before the area
was actually settled around 1857 by E.G. Hester and John Blechynden. Originally a successful apple producing
district the area has now expanded into the timber, tantalum & lithium mining, dairy, cattle, fruit
industries.The name of the town was suggested by the settlers of the area, in honour
of the ship, "Bridgetown", which was the first ship to carry wool from the district. It also seemed
appropriate as the town was located near a bridge.
In 1868, surveyor T.C. Carey put forward the proposed name and it was approved and gazetted by Governor Hampton
in the same year. Carey was also keen to name the area Geegelup, which was the name the local Aboriginals called
the area, as Geegelup was the name of the freshwater crustaceans (known as gilgies) which were abundant in the
local brook. Interestingly the main street, Hampton, was named in honour of the man who approved the name of the
Today the town and shire is a thriving community of industry and activity. Bridgetown is host to the Blackwood
Classic Power Boat Race, Blackwood Marathon Relay, Blues at Bridgetown and Country Open Garden.
Things You May Not Know About BridgetownThe post code for Bridgetown is 6255.
The Bridgetown bridge is the longest jarrah bridge in Western Australia and the Blackwood River, which flows under it, is the longest river in Western Australia.
Until recently, local Western Australian company, Sons of Gwalia (a gold and advanced mineral
company), supplied about 35 % of the world's tantalum which is around 1.3 million pounds of tantalum each year. The
tantalum was exported mainly to Germany and USA. It may be possible your mobile phone once used tantalum from
The Blackwood River Classic 250 claims to be the longest power dinghy race in the world covering
some 250 kms. The race commences at Bridgetown, passing through Nannup and Sues Bridge before finishing at the river mouth at Augusta.
Things Are Looking Up in BridgetownFollowing the first official survey of the district by Augustus Gregory
in 1852, many settlers from Bunbury and other established areas began taking up land in the 1850's and
1860's. Mainly an agricultural community, the town began to flourish when, during the late 1890's, tin was
discovered near Greenbushes. Around the same time the timber industry was booming throughout the states
south west region . Many of the historical buildings you see throughout the town were
built during this period and reflect the towns growing importance in the area. Walking down the main street
many of the old building still remain including the old gaol and police quarters, the Bridgetown , Freemasons
& Scotts Hotel, the old cider factory and Maslin House. For a more detailed tour click here for the
Architecture of Bridgetown
Important Links To Bridgetown
Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes
Bridgetown-Greenbushes Visitors Centre
Blues at Bridgetown