Boddington is located in the hills, 123 kilometres south east of Perth.
The town has seen quite a lot of development as mining in the area has expanded greatly from 2006, with the resulting influx of workers.
Despite this, the town has maintained a good balance between development and improvement with the area along the river being turned into very attractive parkland with good facilities including shelters with picnic tables and BBQs and a large adventure playground for children.
There is a pump track, skate park, flying fox, nature playground, kayak launching ramp and multi-purpose half court and outdoor gym all situated in the parkland. $2.3 million was spent on redeveloping the park and it was certainly money well spent.
The Boddington Rodeo is held in November each year and is a major tourist attraction. The event was first held in 1976 and has not only maintained, but increased in popularity over the years.
The shire is almost half covered by state forest, and picnic areas like Lions Weir and the Tullis Railway Bridge, offer visitors a pleasant relaxing atmosphere.
There is an overnight RV rest area for self-contained RVs right by the river. It is free to stay and operated on a first come, first served basis. RVs can stay for up to 48 hours and pets are permitted.
It is not available during the rodeo weekend as it is then used as an overflow site for the caravan park.
For those who are not self contained or wish to stay longer, the local caravan park is a great alternative.
A number of interesting sculptures have been placed around the town and one of the interesting things to do is to take a walk and see just how many you can find.
Many of the sculptures were entries in the Boddington sculpture competition that offered over $33,000 in prize money.
It was a great innovation by the shire to acquire some interesting public art for the town.
The first settlement in the area occurred in the 1860s with wheat and sheep becoming the region's main industries.
The town was gazetted in 1912 after the arrival of the first railway line.
Marradong was originally the centre of the area and the local Road Board was founded there in 1892. The Batt family were the first Europeans to settle in this area.
In 1961 the Marradong Road Board was renamed the Shire of Boddington. Marradong originally had a shop, post office, hotel, church and a one roomed school. The only structures remaining are St Albans and a few old homes in varying states of repair.
Marradong was the centre of Local Government until 1925 when a new building was built in Boddington which replaced the old site. This building still stands in Johnstone St, next to the Town Hall.
The first school was known as the Hotham River school and operated until September 1920. The next school was built in the townsite and was in operation until 1999.
In 2000 a modern school came into operation.
Ranford is a small settlement 4 kilometres east of Boddington and was established in the 1930's as a result of the tannin extracts factory that was built there. Although Ranford had a boarding house it relied on Boddington for its services.
The tannin extracts factory opened in April 1937 and processed white gum timber. Tannin was used in the production of leather.
Logs of up to 11 feet in length were fed into a machine that broke the wood up in such a way as to expose the cells of wood ready for the tannin to be leached out.
The leaching process took 24 hours and was done with a combination of water and steam.
In 1939 a second factory was built but by 1957 the first factory closed down with the second following in 1964 after timber stocks were almost exhausted.
Devastating bushfires in 1961 wiped out much of the timber stocks that the railway needed to remain financially viable. By the end of the decade the railway had closed.
Development was very slow until the discovery of bauxite in 1979. In 1986 more development came with the opening of a gold mine.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Hotham River, Lions Weir, Randford Pool walk trail, Tullis Bridge walk trail, Dilyan’s Grave, Arts and Crafts Centre, Golf Course, Community Markets.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
St Albans Church and Marradong Cemetery.
State : Wagin
Federal : Canning
Postcode : 6390
Local Government : Shire of Boddington
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