Arguably the biggest and best attraction in town is the museum.
The museum is housed in what used to be number 3 pumping station on the water pipeline between Mundaring
There are a number of these stations along the pipeline but only Cunderdin seems to have had to good sense and foresight to put their
pumping station to good use once it was decommissioned.
If this isn't the best rural museum in the state, it is certainly right up there in the top 2 or 3 and even if you aren't usually
turned on by a visit to a museum, this is one we think you will still enjoy.
A small building near the pumping station is an example of an old one room school that used to be so common in small towns through
out the state.
There is still one of the original water pumps located in the museum although it is one from pumping station number 7.
There were once three such pumps in operation and they moved 13.6 million litres of water per day.
The earthquake house in the museum simulates what it might feel like to be involved in an earthquake such as the one that almost
destroyed the little town of Meckering in 1968.
There is a lot of old farm machinery, carriages from a train, old vehicles and plenty of memorabilia in the museum and we would
recommend setting aside at least two hours to have a good look around.
Cunderdin today now mostly concerned with wheat and sheep production.
For some strange reason the good folks at Cunderdin shire seem to have decided to take temporary leave of their sanity and
constructed the monstrosity of an 'Ettamogah Pub' when the original pub burned down.
This hideous monstrosity may not be out of place in the cheap and nasty Gold Coast but in a quaint, historic town like Cunderdin
it stands out like the proverbial dunny in the desert. We officially hate 'Ettamogah Pubs'.
They belong in the pages of a comic book, not on the heritage streets of our old historic towns.
Of course there are people who think the pub is amazing and it does attract its fair share of visitors to the town and
perhaps that was the reason for putting such an out of place building there in the first place.
The early European history of the area started with Ensign Robert Dale's
exploration in 1830 and later with John Septimus Roe in 1836.
They were followed by Charles Cooke Hunt in 1864.
The area was first used for wintering flocks of sheep which were moved west again during the dry months. An unlucky shepherd was
E.J. Clarkson who was killed by local Aborigines.
Edward Clarkson worked as a shepherd with young David Hackett in a remote location near present day Doodlakine.
When the attack took place Clarkson was speared twice and Hackett's arm was broken. Clarkson knew he had no hope of surviving but
told Hackett how to navigate by the stars at night and after a ninety mile journey, Hackett arrived at Toodyay. The locals were
so impressed they raised money to help Hackett get an education and he attended Christian Brothers College in Perth. Later he
went on to become a police constable at Gingin.
A police depot was then established at Youndegin 19km from Cunderdin and Constable Alfred Eaton arrived to take up his post in
1880. As miners started to move through the area towards the goldfields, Eaton built an inn to cater for the passing trade.
Later when he resigned from the police force he took up land and became the area's first farmer.
Before a lock-up was built in Cunderdin in 1911, offenders who got too rowdy at the pub were tied to a post of the hotel until
they settled down. If that failed to do the trick they were taken down to the Northam gaol.
Many of the early settlers in this area came from the eastern states, especially from South Australia. Most had come west
seeking riches in the goldfields but when the gold did not materialise they moved west and settled the land instead. In
just ten year from 1890 the population increased by 400%.
The railway came through in 1892 and this was one of the many catalysts for development.
When the goldfields water scheme was being constructed, Cunderdin was selected as the site for a receiving dam and the
first water was pumped through on April 22nd 1902.
During the Second World War an RAAF training base was established near the town and this airfield was destined to take over
from nearby Tammin which was then down graded to an emergency landing field only.
Until 1948, Cunderdin and Tammin were administered by the Meckering Road Board. After that
time Cunderdin took over Meckering and Tammin split to form its own administration.
The town was gazetted in 1906 and the name may from the Aboriginal word quenda and may mean 'place of the bandicoot'.
Another possible meaning for the name has been suggested as 'hill in the mist' and yet another source says it may mean
'Big turkey' but that is probably best ignored.
23km west of Cunderdin, Meckering was the site of a powerful 6.9 magnitude earthquake in October 1968.
The fault line that developed is still visible near the town.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Bulgin Rock Reserve, Collingully Cottages Patchwork Barn, Cunderdin Hill Lookout, Cunderdin Museum, Ettamogah Pub, Youndegin.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Museum (former pump house) 1902, Bakery 1909.
State : Central Wheatbelt
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6407
Local Government : Shire of Cunderdin
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