A timber bridge over a small creek west of Maryborough leads nowhere today yet it stands as a tribute to a family’s nationalism post-WWI.
It was designed and funded by Mr LS Smith of Mount Joseph Station and is the only known privately-funded memorial bridge in Queensland, perhaps even Australia. Apart from the masonry piers, it was built by station hands, some of whom were returned servicemen.
Local minister the Reverend Hardingham officially opened the bridge on 21 May 1921. A bereft local mother, Mrs Brown, unveiled the honour roll. Her son was among the nine who died from the area.
White painted sandstone pillars carry leaded marble plaques remembering both those who died and the 38 who returned.
Memorials erected across the nation during and after WWI expressed the nation’s grief for 60,000 Australians who died and were buried overseas. Although the Smiths lost no sons in WWI, they wished to make their own commemorative gesture and handed the bridge over to Woocoo Shire Council on completion.
The bridge remained in use until 1972 when it was replaced. Soon after, the Smith family installed a commemorative cairn to explain its historic significance to picnic-goers and passers-by.