BRIDGETOWN, Western Australia
BRIDGETOWN is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth on the Blackwood River at the intersection of South Western Highway with Brockman Highway to Nannup and Augusta.
The area was previously known as GEEGELUP, which was believed to mean "place of gilgies" in the Noongar Aboriginal language, referring to the fresh water crustaceans that live in the area. However, recently discovered research made available through the Bridgetown Tourist Centre suggests the actual meaning of Geegelup may be "place of spears".
In 1857, Edward Godfrey Hester (now honoured in nearby Hester) and John Blechynden settled in the area. In 1861, convicts built the road from Donnybrook into the area.
Bridgetown's name was first proposed by surveyor Thomas CAREY in 1868, for two reasons - "as it is at a bridge and the Bridgetown was the first ship to put in at Bunbury for the wool from these districts", and was approved and gazetted on 9 June 1868.
From then until about 1885, many buildings including the primary school (1870), post office and two hotels were constructed, many of which are still standing today. In 1885, the Bridgetown Agricultural Society was formed and local farmers produced sheep, cattle, dairy products, timber, fruit and nuts. The gold rush from 1892 onwards brought prosperity to the town and saw a considerable increase in settlement. In 1907, a number of significant buildings including the police station were erected.
Until the 1980s, the land surrounding Bridgetown was almost exclusively used for broadacre agriculture and improved pasture. From the late 1970s, the area became increasingly attractive to tourists as a peaceful and picturesque country town an accessible distance from Perth.
Some people, attracted by the aesthetic qualities and rural lifestyle on offer, sought to move to the town permanently, and this resulted in a strong demand for residential and hobby farm allotments, at a time when there was, coincidentally, a global downturn in agricultural markets. Many farmers sold up, and much of the most aesthetically pleasing land was subdivided and sold to urban refugees.
The demographic change had a profound impact on the town's industry, replacing demand for farm services with demand for services in the tourism and recreation sectors. However the dramatic increase in infrastructure such as housing, roads and power lines, has detracted from the rural aesthetic that attracted the urban refugees in the first place, and therefore has the potential to lead to the rejection of the locality by the next wave of urban refugees
the BRIDGETOWN PIONEER CEMETERY
ASHBEE , Possibly Thomas Ashbee died 1911 - registered in the distrit of Blackwood.
BLECHYNDEN, Infant. Son of George Harrison and Zela Matilda (nee Taylor).
BROWN, Robert Pollock. Born in Walston, England. David and Barbara Elizabeth Brown listed as parents in the WA Pioneer Index
CLARTH, Emily Ann. 10 July 1904. aged 53 years
COLLINS, Bertha. Wife of Harry B. accidentally killed Jan 8 1907 aged 22 years.
DAW, Mary. Wife of Joseph. 234 Aug 1897 aged 61 years 11 months
DICKIN, James. 24 Jul 1899 aged 34 years
DOUST, Isaac. 31 Jun 1903 aged 90 years 4 months
DOUST, Mervyn Muir. Son of C and A. Aged 6 months. Died 1906
DOUST, Ray. Infant son of Frank and May. 20 Mar 1905 - 31 Jul 1905
GARDNER, Elizabeth (Betty).
GUNN, John Henry,. Aygyst 1903 Aged 33 years. Born Wentworth England
HARBORD, Charles Musgrave. 8 Oct 1869 - 20 Aug 1907
HENDERSON, William Pearce. 39 Aug 1898 aged 36 years
HILL, Thomas, Husband of Charlotte. 15 Aug 1908
JONES, Alexander. 18 Nov 1897 aged 54 years.
LEE STEERE, 11 Oct 1901 aged 7 years. Eva Florence. Father Edward John, mother Agnes Forrest.
MCALINDEN, Josephine Lucretia. Wife of Frederick P. died 1902 Aged 21 years. Father Thomas Joseph O'Toole, mother Ellen Healy.
MOTTRAM, John. 5 Mar 1912 aged 73 years
MOTTRAM, Sarah. Wife of John. 10 Feb 1911 aged 68 years
MOULTON, Esther R. Wife of Abraham W. 2 May 1886 aged ?6 years.
O'NEILL, Henry. 38 Apr 1909 aged 13 months. (with mother Maud)
O'NEILL, Maud. 14 Dec 1910 aged 47 years. (with son Henry).
O'TOOLE, Ellen. 26 Jul 1905 aged 63 years. (with daughter Josephine)
PIKE, Louisa Georgina "Cissy". Daughter of EJ and L. 15 Aug 1911 aged 5 years 6 months.
REEVE, George. Husband of Mary Ann. 28 Feb 1901 aged 71 years 8 months
ROBINSON, W.H Rowan. OAM. 1918 - 2001
SCOTT, James. 189 Dec 1907 in his 84th year
UNKNOWN, died 14 May
UNREADABLE, Fanny, 2? Dec 190?
WALLACE, James. 18 Jul 1911 aged 63 years
WALTER, Unknown. Daughter of John R and Louisa E. 8 Oxt 1905 - 18 May 1906 Elizabeth G.