The shire includes the small town of Arthur River and the popular campsite at Lake Towerinning. The lake is
used for water skiing and is one of the few lakes in the wheatbelt that has remained viable for this sport.
Another attraction cloise to town is Six Mile Cottage. It was built in the 1900s by Dick Strange (Maybe he should have stuck with Richard)
and is available for visitors to inspect.
An information sheet on the cottage recalls what it was like when it was being lived in.
'The cottage was very, very nice - like a doll's house - all muslin curtains hanging here and there, and the furniture was all homemade...For lighting,
all they had were hurricane lamps - and kerosene table lamps - these had an iron stand and a little floral bowl...The floor was of earth, as I remember,
and the timber floor would have been put down after Mr Coli (about 1925-30) started the mill. There was no cut timber in those times, it was all done with
broad axe. When it was first built, the windows had wooden shutters. They fastened in the centre and had to be propped up. There was a 100 gallon tank for
drinking water, and they would cart water from a dam somewhere around for washing. The wash basins were on benches out the back...
Anyone who came to the cottage added a lean-to of hessian, or brought tents to stay in. Everyone called in on the way past to see if you wanted anything
from town. Old Mr Broome was a great one - he went to town once a week and he called on just about all the houses with his spring cart and horse.'
The Darkan to Collie 'Rail trail' is being developed for hikers, horse riders and bike riders along the old rail corridor. The first section opened in 2004.
Settlement in the area dates from the 1860s when William John Gibbs and his family arrived. The town site was declared in 1889 (another source quotes 1906).
The railway arrived in 1889 bringing further development to the area. The meaning of the name is uncertain but 'dark rocks' is one suggestion and it is said
to originate from the name of Gibbs' farm.
The Darkan Hotel lays claim to being the first building constructed in the town. The railway station followed in 1907 and then the road board office in 1908.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Lake Towerrinning, Hillman Rock and dam.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Road Board office, Railway Station, Six Mile Cottage.
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6392
Local Government : Shire of West Arthur
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