The town owes its development purely to the railway between Norseman and Esperance as it
was a place where a reliable source of water (needed for steam engines) could be found.
It is located 22 kilometres north of Esperance and is the site of the local airport.
The Gibson Soak Hotel provides drinks, meals and accommodation.
There is a large parking area near the tavern where self-contained motorhomes and caravans can stop for the
night free of charge. There are also public toilets available.
There are two possible sources of the town's name which are given in historic literature. The first says that it was named after Alfred Gibson
who died during Ernest Giles' second attempt to cross the desert of the same name in 1876.
Gibson died after mistaking one range of hills for another further east. He was short of water and food and perished when he became lost. His
body was never found.
The second source says that Gibson was named after Billy Gibson who found the soak while looking for lost stock. Originally called Gibson Soak,
the townsite was gazetted in 1921. (We believe that this is the real origin of the name.)
TALL TALES AND TRUE
Gibson's Soak had a good reputation for great food at the old bush hotel and so a geologist working in the area decided to stop there one
day for lunch.
When he asked what was available he was surprised and disappointed when he was told that the only food available was porridge.
He noticed furtive glances being shared between the proprietor and her daughter and an anxious air in the premises.
Not wanting porridge, the geologist asked if he could have sandwiches and anything cold that was in the fridge and again he noticed strange
glances between the two women.
Finally the mother blurted out, 'It's the boss!'
'What about him' asked the geologist.
'He's in the fridge' the woman replied.
It turned out that the boss had died the night before and with the hundred degree heat it had been thought best to put him in the fridge
until the ambulance from Esperance arrived to take him away.
Unsurprisingly the geologist left to seek his lunch elsewhere.
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BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6448
Local Government : Shire of Esperance
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