A wheat and sheep town, Kukerin is a major grain depot for the surrounding region. The Tracmach Vintage Fair is held each September and attracts working vintage machinery
some of which dates from 1915.
Also held in September are the Creekbed and Burnout Championships.
Facilities in town include a general store, primary school, hotel, newsagency and post office.
An expedition by Lefroy and Landor was the first to travel through this area in 1843.
Their comments were not encouraging:
"...the desert has a most repelling appearance, but would be interesting to cross in the proper season which might be done following the river Lefroy in the month of August."
In 1848 J.S. Roe explored the area to the south near where
Nyabing stands today. He was followed in 1850 by W.H. Graham.
By the 1870s there were sandalwood cutters in the area but little had been achieved in the way of permanent settlement.
When Marshall Fox explored the area in 1906 he reported more favourably on the land than Lefroy had done and soon afterwards there was a slow but steady stream
of applications to take up land.
In 1912 the railway to Dumbleyung was extended to Lake Grace with Merilup and Kukerin Sidings placed along the line
between the two towns.
The name was originally spelled Cookering locally but appeared as Kukerin on maps of the area so Kukerin was the name officially adopted.
A story was told about two sandalwood cutters (Cooke and Ring) who discovered a soak in the area but this does seem a little far fetched.
The town site was gazetted in 1912 and the original meaning of the name is not known. The name first suggested for the town was Merilup but this was already the name
of a settlement some 8 miles away so Marshall Fox suggested Kukerin.
Things being the way they are, this wasn't the end of the matter as an area called Kukerin already existed to the north of the new town site. The matter was eventually resolved
by the original area being referred to as North Kukerin.
Once the town site had been declared progress was swift. By the end of the following year a small but flourishing town had been built on what was nothing but bush by the side of the
railway. In 1914 a school with 16 students was opened. A year later the town hall opened but not without some controversy.
Sydney Stubbs was a local politician who also had business interests including timber sales. He had agreed to supply timber for the hall at cost price but when the bill for the timber
arrived it was for full price. Isaac Smith (one of the hall committee members) was outraged and waited for the official opening to have his say.
Meanwhile Stubbs had discovered the error in the bill and instructed his accountant to correct it. Smith was unaware of this when at the opening he stood up and declared:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, it's all a fake. It is just an electioneering dodge."
Stubbs responded: "You're a liar. If you were outside I would pull your nose!"
After the two 'combatants' were suitably restrained and the situation explained to them, to their credit, they shook hands and the official opening proceeded.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
In 1937 a local pushbike rider made a wager that he could ride the 193 miles to Perth in just 16 hours. A number of bets were taken but when it came time to 'put up'
the rider backed out. Three other riders (Jim Grant, Roy Matson and Mick Edwards) took up the challenge. All but the last 70 miles of road was rough unsealed
track but the trio made it in to Perth with just two minutes to spare.
The following year the small cycling club was flush with new members but that was as far as it went and the club membership rapidly declined thereafter.
Duggan Dam, Tarin Rock.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Hotel 1928, Moulyinning Hall, Dongolocking Hall.
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6352
Local Government : Shire of Dumbleyung
Click on a thumbnail to see full sized picture.