Some times called 'the town of many names', Widgiemooltha has at various times been known as;
Woodgee Mulla, Woodgee Mouilla, Widgiecanmooltha, Wijimoola, Wajjimulla
Wedgemulla Hill, Woodgiemoola, Wadjiemoultha, Wagemulla, Widjimoultha, Widgiemoultha.
and most commonly just Widgie to those who know it best.
The meanings given to the name vary almost as much, with happiness vally, place of evil spitits, place of emus,
valley of the crows or black crow's beak all been mentioned as possible sources.
Widgiemooltha is 631 Kilometres east of Perth about half way between Norseman
and Coolgardie just south of Lake Lefroy.
These days it isn't much more than a roadhouse and a couple of houses but like many towns in the area it grew up amid the early
Rumours are that the roadhouse serves the best burgers 'this side of the black stump', so if you get an attack of the munchies
as you pass through, it might be worth taking a break.
The old town site was a little to the north east of the current roadhouse but there is nothing left of it today.
The town was gazetted as 'Widgemooltha' in 1897 and the extra 'i' was added in 1944. Being such an unusual name it was often
misspelled but Widgiemooltha is now the official name.
5 Kilometres south west of Widgie is the Mount Gold Mine. It was abandoned in 1897 due to flooding problems.
There were some half-hearted attempts to re-open the mine but it wasn't until 1935 that an American syndicate did some serious
work on re-starting the operation.
While inspecting the underground workings, Raymond D. Brown was overcome by fumes and died after falling from an exit ladder only
50 feet from the surface.
There were other owners before Western Mining Corporation took over the mine in 1949. The mine was worked during the 1980s and 90s.
Work continued on and off until 2014 when the then owner, Focus Minerals, left the mine abandoned once again.
It is believed that there are still fairly significant un-mined gold deposits in the mine but the ingress of water has made further
attempts at mining unfeasable.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
Seven point kick.
During a game of Australian Rules football, the Daniells Siding Demons were one goal (6 points) ahead of the Widgiemooltha Wanderers as the game neared its conclusion.
Widgie's full forward took a last shot at goal just as the final siren sounded and the ball (that was somewhat the worse for wear) fell apart, the leather case going between the
big sticks (6 points) and the bladder going through the points posts (1 point). The Umpire declared 1 goal and 1 point and Widgie won the match by that 1 point.
Live or die?
Jimmy Doyle and his wife owned the old Widgie Hotel for many years and at one time Mrs. Doyle fell gravely ill.
Not knowing if his wife would live or die, Jimmy send to Coolgardie for medicine and a coffin due to the difficulties of transport
and the uncertainty of her survival.
Mrs. Doyle did in fact recover and to avoid awkward questions, Jimmy hid the coffin part way down the well.
Mrs. Doyle eventually noticed an unusual object in the well and had it brought up which left Jimmy with some difficult explaining
Apparently she took it well enough and the coffin was used as a wash trough in the hotel for some time afterword.
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(c) Donald Pugh
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6443
Local Government : Shire of Coolgardie
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