Pretty Point Bridge

Culturally and Socially Significant Since 1896
Bullock Teams
Bullock Teams

Travelling from Twofold to the Monaro

Pretty Point Bridge
Pretty Point Bridge

Built over 120 years ago from local timbers

An Original Alan Truss Bridge
An Original Alan Truss Bridge
Pretty Point Bridge 2009
Pretty Point Bridge 2009

In the mid to late 1800's, communities were well settled in Wyndham and surrounds. The school had been open since 1868 and the town was flourishing.  Several inns, a general store and even a lolly shop catered to passing traders and the local community.

The Imlay brothers and entrepreneur Ben Boyd had opened up the route from Twofold Bay through Towamba, Burragate and Rocky Hall with passage up the Big Jack Mountain connecting with the high country.
Bullock teams were a familiar sight carrying wool, wattle bark, timber and hides on their journeys to and from the Monaro and Twofold Bay.
Passage of this important route was hampered by floods, making the already difficult journey impossible at certain times, and isolating families living over the Mataganah, cutting off trade and supply of essential items.
Plans were made to remedy the situation and Mr Percy Allan was chosen as the designer for this important piece of early infrastructure.

Pretty Point Bridge was opened on a showery Friday the 25th September in 1896, with about 300 people attending. The oldest living resident, Mrs. John Love, broke a bottle of champagne over the bridge as part of the official ceremony. Celebrations included lunch for 70 people in a tent erected at the site, a picnic for Wyndham Public School students, and a Ball in Wyndham Hall that night.

Local landowner, Mr. E J Coman, declared the bridge open to traffic and assured users that, at the centenary in 1996, the boxwood from Raynor’s Sawmill would be just as sound as the day it was put there. Speeches were full of praise for the building of the bridge. Residents and travellers would finally be able to cross the Mataganah Creek in flood.  The bridge would ensure that timber mills, dairy farms and mines continued to contribute to the prosperity of the area. Speeches also noted that the bridge added to the picturesque appearance of the area.

For 118 years, the original bridge at Pretty Point made it possible for people, animals, carts, cars and trucks travelling along New Buildings Road to cross Mataganah Creek

Pretty Point Bridge
Pretty Point Bridge

Showing signs of wear

Bridge Centenary
Bridge Centenary

1996 Celebrations

Stroud Wedding
Stroud Wedding

Locals celebrate their special day

Bridge Centenary
Bridge Centenary

1996 Celebrations

Recent History

Wear & tear, repairs and a celebration of 100 years of service
In 1983, a fault developed in the bottom chord of the upstream truss. Water had penetrated the heart-wood and caused dry rot, allowing the bottom chord to stretch under tension and for the truss to sag. A bulldozer and road-grader at either end of the truss and a winch were used to pull the chord back together, to facilitate repair. Steel splice-plates were then bolted on either side of the damage and welded to the existing slice plates.  In later years, heavy steel beams were also added to the bottom-chord, due to further deterioration.

The Centenary of the Bridge Opening in early October 1996 was very well attended. The oldest person at the Centenary, Mrs. Charlie Bray (Bessie), spoke about the importance of the bridge to the families of Wyndham and Rocky Hall. Attending on horseback, Robert Martin represented people who crossed the wooden bridge on their daily outing to town or school. The oldest resident at the Grand Ball, Mrs. Thelma Umback, was asked to cut the Centenary butter cake decorated with pink camellias in honour of those who had used the bridge in the past 100 years.

 
The Bridge in the 1990's
The Bridge in the 1990's
Centenary Celebrations
Centenary Celebrations

Attended by many locals

Robert Martin
Robert Martin

Paying homage to past traffic

Mrs. Thelma Umback
Mrs. Thelma Umback

Cutting the Centenary Cake

Pretty Point Bridge

A community heritage restoration project proudly supported by the Wyndham Progress Association