The Mail-Times today starts a series profiling the Wimmera's smaller communities after a new statistical definition downgraded the 'town' status of communities of fewer than 200 people. Journalist CAROLINE TANG speaks to the people of Dadswells Bridge...
NATURE, history and convenience make Dadswells Bridge attractive for its residents.
The town had a population of 172 at the 2006 Census.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics now defines Dadswells Bridge as a 'gazetted locality'.
The 2011 Census did not release data for gazetted localities.
It is believed that privacy concerns were behind the change.
Deutscher's Turkey Farm owner-operator Daryl Deutscher has lived and worked at Dadswells Bridge for more than 30 years.
He said his location was historically significant.
Mr Deutscher lives on an allotment of land which the namesake of Dadswells Bridge originally selected.
Engineer Thomas Williams Dadswell constructed the first official bridge over Mount William Creek at Ledcourt Crossing.
The bridge opened for use in early 1867.
Mr Deutscher is originally from Rupanyup south.
"I was here at Dadswells Bridge in 1982, when we had one of the worst droughts," he said.
"Then in 1983 we had one of the worst floods.
"We judged everything on the 1983 flood until the 2011 floods.
"But people who live in earthquake-prone areas they don't get up and move out before the next earthquake, do they?
"Home is where the heart is."
Mr Deutscher said he liked the convenience of Dadswells Bridge halfway between Horsham and Stawell.
"It's on the Western Highway and I can walk across the road to get my newspaper and mail," he said.
"You can't do much better than that.
"It's semi-rural, but close enough to people.
"I like that."
Lorraine Melville has lived at Dadswells Bridge for 13 years.
She owns accommodation business Orchid Lane Cottages with her husband David Whitcher.
Ms Melville grew up in Murtoa and Mr Whitcher is originally from Ballarat.
"We have settled on 40 acres of natural bush land," she said.
"That's what we love.
"It's a convenient location for business and has a laid-back lifestyle too.
"People visit us to look at orchids and watch the animals.
"I love the community and surroundings.
"We are a very diverse, but close-knit lot.
"People bounced back and supported each other after the floods in early 2011."
Brad Engineering Services owner Michael Crook has lived and worked at Dadswells Bridge for 14 years.
Mr Crook had factories in Melbourne and Adelaide before making the Wimmera his home.
He lives at a Dadswells Bridge homestead originally owned by entrepreneur Jim Johnson.
"Jimmy Johnson put Dadswells Bridge on the map with all of his buildings," Mr Crook said.
"He built the motel, helped with the caravan park and the roadhouse.
"This is where he made his money."
Mr Crook said he liked the area.
"I do a lot of charity work, like for the Dadswells Bridge Public Hall," he said.
"The highway location is not bad for my business and transport is no problem.
"It's a good lifestyle here."