WANowandThen.com

 

MOUNT BARKER

 

HEMA Map reference 74/J6

 

34 37' 52" S 117 40' 02" E

 

 

Where is this?

 


 

 

Statistics

 

Km from Perth

359

Population

1648

Rainfall

738mm (139.2)

Max Temp

20C (43.9)

Min Temp

9.2C (-0.6)

Autogas

Available

Telecentre

 

 

Caravan Parks

 

Mount Barker

 

08 9851 1691

 

Services

 

Hospital

08 9851 1422

Police

08 9851 1122

SES

08 9851 1950

RAC

08 9851 1755

Visitor Centre

08 9851 1163

 

Attractions

 

Old police station, Barker Hill lookout, Porongurup Ranges, Old gold mine, Stirling Ranges.

 

Buildings of note

 

St. Werburgh’s Chapel, 10Km south west. 1872-4, Railway station 1923, Old mining battery 1874, Abbeyholme 1869.

 

Calendar Of Events

 

January: Wine festival. March: Great Graze. Machinery fields days. Porongorup wine festival. Mt. Barker Cup. Easter: Firelight festival. April: Art in the park. October: Wildflower festival. November: Market Day. December: Carols in the park.

 

Famous sons & daughters

 

Ross Ryan (Folk singer)

 

 

 

Description

 

Named by Dr. Thomas Wilson in honour of his friend Capt. Collett Barker, commandant of the settlement at Albany. Wilson reported that:

'we observed that its banks were covered with luxuriant grass, sprinkled with yellow buttercups which put us in mind of home' and that the 'gently swelling lightly wooded adjacent hills are well adapted for sheep-walks'.

Capt. Barker was killed by Aborigines near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia in 1831.

The area was first settled in the 1835 by Sir
Richard Spencer. Spencer died in 1839 (one source says he drowned when the boat he was in overturned after piloting a ship out of King George Sound at Albany but another says he died of a stroke.) but his wife continued to operate the property until her death in 1855. Augusta Spencer (a daughter of Sir Richard & Lady Spencer) married George Egerton-Warburton and a book about his life called ‘The Way of St. Werburghs’ by Dawn Crabb is available through the Library & Information Service of W.A. It is worth reading as it gives an excellent insight into the early life of the colony.

George was responsible for the construction of St. Werburghs Chapel.

A track from
Perth to Albany was established in 1835 and by 1860 there were enough people using the route to warrant the building of the Bush Inn. The inn became a stopping point for Cobb & Co coaches but with the arrival of the railway in 1899 its importance diminished.

The town site was formally declared in 1899 although a private site had been established in 1893. By 1910 there were 75 orchards in the area and over time the emphasis has moved from apples to grapes.

It is rapidly becoming famous for wine production. Experimental planting's were undertaken in 1960s by the Department of Agriculture. It was not long before commercial wine production was under way, and today more than 23 vineyards operate in the Mount Barker and
Denmark region.

 

Folklore: There is a tale about the local Aboriginal people (the Noongar) regarding the Stirling Range as a 'bad spirit place' and being reluctant to spend a night in that area. If anyone has more information on this local belief then we would like to find out more about it. (Thanks to Caroline Horton for the initial info.)

 

If you want more information on this town have a look at:

Mount Barker.Com
 

 

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...