The town site of Brookton is situated 138km east/south-east of Perth via the Brookton Highway.
The Shire of Brookton covers an area of 1,626 square kilometres and also includes the localities of Aldersyde and Kweda.
The population of the Shire recorded at the 1999 census was 1015, of which approximately 650 live in the townsite of Brookton.
Being less than 100km from the Perth metropolitan area (as opposed to the G.P.O.), Brookton is a one hour drive from Karragullen
and residents enjoy many lifestyle benefits of outer metropolitan country living while retaining many creature comforts. When other
country towns only had country TV stations, Brookon had access to Perth stations. This has now changed since the introduction
of digital TV and most country dwellers now have much better choices when it comes to TV stations.
The Shire of Brookton borders the local authorities of
Wandering, Beverley, Quairading,
Corrigin and Pingelly.
The Brookton district is considered the Gateway to the Central South and is renowned for local events such as the Old Time Motor Show
(held bi-annually), the King of the Hill off-road racing and a magnificent Wildflower display. Tourist attractions include the Old Railway
Station and Police Museum located in Robinson Road, the Jack Hansen Ruins at Nine Acre Rock, a lookout overlooking the town, Heritage Trail,
Boyagin rock reserve and the Yenyenning Lakes.
A trip along the Brookton Highway from Perth is a treat, especially in spring. Brookton is another typical small country town which has a number of well
preserved historical buildings. It is surprisingly small considering it is at the intersection of two major roads, retains a nice relaxed life style and
is a lot more peaceful than York and Northam to the north.
The area was first settled in 1846 by John Seabrook and the town was founded in 1884. The name was originally Seabrook but the railway station was
called Brookton. After some negotiation and changes to other stations the town eventually was re-named Brookton to bring it in to line with the
station name. (The Aboriginal name for the area was Kalkarni.) The town was gazetted in 1899.
Seabrook had, no doubt, been attracted to the area by a report written by Henry Landor who enthused about the location:
'I hasten to announce ... an important discovery of very superior grazing country of great extent and richness.'
The first Brookton Road Board meeting was conducted on the 10 September 1906, after Mr Samuel Williams broke away from the Beverley Road Board.
During it's early development the area around the town was heavily timbered with white gums, she-oak and scrub. This was rapidly removed by burning and
cutting. In the process the habitat of emus and wild turkeys was destroyed.
Essential services that city people enjoy like scheme water are often found wanting in the bush and it wasn't until December 1958 that scheme water came to
Brookton through a pipe from Wellington Dam near Collie. Before that, the local dam almost dried up each summer and pipes were often clogged with silt.
In the worst times people were rationed to just 23 litres of water each per day.
The electricity supply in Brookton was another 'bone of contention' and in the early 1940s supply was usually only available between 4:30pm and 10pm.
It took until 1948 for the town to get a 24 hour supply.
In 1999, the town site of Brookton celebrated the Centenary of gazettal. To commemorate this occasion, a written history of Brookton has been released
which details the past 100 years of the town. Copies of this book are available by contacting the Shire of Brookton Administration Centre on (08) 9642 1106.
(Sections of text supplied by the Town of Brookton.)
TALL TALES AND TRUE
The first school teacher of the Brookton school (Thomas O'Laughlan) was provided a tent to live in by the education board when
he was unable to find a house in town.
Just two weeks after school opened there was a rainstorm that forced Thomas to move his bedding into the school building.
As he didn't have to rent accommodation the education board withdrew his residence allowance, living in a tent it considered
was 'appropriate accommodation.'
After almost three years in the tent Thomas wrote to the board:
'I hope not to be compelled to spend the third winter in a tent, as my health was so much affected, last winter, that I was unable to perform my duties as thoroughly as I otherwise would.'
Poor Thomas was refused his request and in return asked that he be provided with a new tent as the old one was no longer habitable. Finally the education board acted and
Thomas got his house. He went on to serve the Brookton community for 25 years.
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Brookton Lookout, Lonley Grave, Jack Hansen Ruins via Ashfield Road, Boyagin Rock, Yenyenning Lakes, Lions Park, Memorial Park, Playground at the Sports ground, Aboriginal Reserve, Boyagarra Pool, Kulyalling and Weam reserve, Heritage Trail, Various old school sites (Map available from Old Police Station Museum), Lonely Grave, Aldersyde, County Peak, Bally Bally Hall, Avondale Discovery Farm.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Hotel, Railway station, Post office, Flour mill, Old police station.
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6306
Local Government : Shire of Brookton
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