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150 years: Lower Cape Bridgewater State School

Learn about the history of Lower Cape Bridgewater State School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

34-44 Eldon Street, Bridgewater on Loddon, 3516
1 April 1856
22 March 1946
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Bridgewater Common School, Bridgewater State School, Lower Cape Bridgewater, Bridgewater Lower

The history of Lower Cape Bridgewater State School

  • 1856

    The school opened as a temporary classroom in a borrowed building in 1856. It was originally called Cape Bridgewater and had 25 students.

  • 1858

    The first head teacher, Joseph Bedford, started.

    The construction of the schoolhouse began.

  • 1859

    Construction of the schoolhouse was slow. The school used a local church while waiting for the schoolhouse to be finished.

  • 1861

    Student numbers were falling and the head teacher's salary was cut.

    Head teacher Joseph Bedford resigned and he was replaced by H.G Alder.

    The number of students enrolled increased student to 34.

  • 1862

    The schoolhouse was finally completed in 1862. It was a two-room sandstone building with a two-room teacher's house attached.

    The head teacher at the time was Josiah Remfry.

    The school became a common school.

  • 1870s

     The school became a state school at some stage between 1873 and 1878.

  • 1882

    The school closed on 1 September 1882 because student numbers had dropped to around 12.

  • 1898

    The school reopened part-time in January 1898. The teacher was shared initially with Trewalla State School (No. 2836), and then with Kentbuck State School (No. 2309). 

  • 1901

    There were enough students for the school to operate full time again in 1901.

  • 1910

     Student enrolment had dropped to around 17.

    The school was again forced to operate part-time with Cape Bridgewater State School (No. 741)

  • 1913

    Student enrolment had grown to 23 and the school operated full time again.

  • 1915

     The school became known as Lower Cape Bridgewater.

  • 1937

     A new portable building was opened on 19 June 1937 by local member of parliament, E.E. Bond, MLA.

  • 1946

    Lower Cape Bridgewater school closed in 1946.

    The portable school building was taken to Lake Condah State School (No. 2747) and the old sandstone building was sold.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it's your turn to do some detective work. PROV currently only have paper records for this school. Take a look to see what info they have on this school.