As with many wheat belt towns, the development of Kwolyin was linked to the construction of the railways and it was established between
Quairading and Bruce Rock.
J.B. Harris built a store near the rock in 1912. His first manager, Ernie Bales, ran a sly-grog shop that was famous for a spirit known as
The town site was gazetted in 1913 and the sale of the first lots in town took place on July 28th of the same year.
The name proposed for the town was Koarin. This was too similar to Kauring so it was changed to Kwollyinn.
After the RGS rules for Aboriginal word spelling were applied it became Kwolyin.
The name seems to have come from the Aboriginal name for a nearby granite outcrop.
Charles Hunt recorded the name Qualyin Hill on an
expedition in 1864.
It is almost impossible to look at Kwolyin today and imagine the thriving community that once existed here. Shops, a hall, houses, school, garage, and even an
impressive hotel once lined neatly laid out streets. The only reminder of the town today is the old Catholic church.
The goldfields water scheme came to Shackleton just seven kilometres away but never reached Kwolyin. This was to sow the seeds of
doom for Kwolyin and when the local hotel burned down in February 1992, Kwolyin ceased to exist as a town.
20 years after the hotel fire two people were charged with fraud and arson.
The area that used to serve as a football oval has now been turned into a free campsite. Flushing toilets, a good camp kitchen, drinking water,
black water dump point, seats and tables are all made available by the Shire of Bruce Rock. There are nice big sites that can accommodate
all types of caravans and motorhomes.