The new Gee Gee Bridge over the Wakool River and flood approach have been utilised since their opening last year. The project’s completion was a welcome relief to farmers and road transporters as load restrictions have been in place for some time.
The original Gee Gee Bridge’s long and interesting history has now come to an end after removal of the bridge.
Gee Gee Bridge and surrounds were a vital part of the local redgum milling history. A sawmill operated on the banks of the Wakool River from the early 1920s to about 1940. At its peak, there were about 20 families and a multitude of single workmen living there. It resembled a small township.
Readers of The Bridge may remember the late James Lowe, whose story featured last year.
James’ family arrived at Gee Gee, travelling from Cohuna via unmade roads on a solid-tyred Leyland open to the elements, which was not the height of luxury, arriving about dusk to a house that was a large open-ended barn. James was six years old (1932).
James described growing up at Gee Gee as full of adventure but also of hardship. James recalled, “It was the norm in those days of the Depression. We had no phone or electricity and, in time, had a kerosene fridge.”
“A trip to Swan Hill perhaps twice a year with two shillings and sixpence to spend was… WOW!” said James.
The steep cutting below the new bridge was evidently made for Cobb & Co. probably hence the name Gee Gee Crossing. I hear there is a change in name proposed for this new bridge, which is a pity because there will be much history lost.
Many memories remain to so many people, such as the farmers to whom the bridge meant so much. Gee Gee Crossing will always be known and remembered by our family by that name. I would petition to have the new bridge maintain the name that has had such meaning for so many for well over a century.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newsletter, 25 February 2021.