The small settlement of Arthur River is located on the Albany Highway north of Kojonup.
The town (if indeed it is big enough to justify the name) is really nothing more than a food and fuel stop on the way south.
There is a public toilet and rest area behind the local hall.
Remnants of the early settlement including the police barracks and gaol date back to 1866 and the Mount Pleasant
Inn to 1869. The shearing shed dates back to the 1850s when it was constructed as a community building enabling farmers to bring in
their flocks for shearing.
Arthur River was named after Arthur Trimmer, a member of
exploration party that went through the area in 1835.
At about the half-way mark between Perth and Albany, Arthur River was once much
more important that it is today.
Mail arrived by ship in Albany and was brought overland (sometimes by foot) to Perth.
Eventually mail contractors were appointed and were expected to guarantee delivery in 72 hours by coach.
The first post mistress (Mary Ann Spratt) took up her post in January 1866 but the post office was not gazetted until 1882.
When the railway went through Wagin (further east) in 1889, many people moved away.
In 1905 the telegraph was connected and in 1913 the telephone line arrived but nothing could reduce the impact
of the railway bypassing the town.
The old inn was built in 1869 by John Cronin. In 1907 it was expanded but was then
demolished in 1934 and the stones were used to extend the Arthur River Hall. The kitchen area of the inn
is still standing and it is one of the oldest buildings on the Albany Highway.
The local church was constructed between 1882-4 by F.E. Smith and A.G. Horley. who also built churches in
Williams and Kojonup. The timber for the floor of the church came from
sawmills at Dwellingup and examination will reveal the saw marks on the wood.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Hillman Rock and Hillman Dam, Six Mile Cottage, Wildflower reserves, Lake Towerrinning.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Old Police Station (1866), Inn (1869), Shearing shed (1850s).
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6315
Local Government : Shire of West Arthur
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