(C) Don Copley
HEMA Map reference 77/F12
28 37' 32" S 122 23' 49" E
Billy Goat Lookout, Explorers Hall of fame, Heritage trail, Burtville Arch, Discovery Trail, Outback gallery.
Buildings of note
Calendar of events
May: Fireman's Ball, Wheelie bin race day. October: Races.
Gold was discovered in the 1890s and the town was gazetted in 1900 (another source quotes 1898 but this appears to have been when the first town site was proposed 3 kilometres from the current location.).
The town was originally known as British Flag - the name of the first mine
in the area - but it was renamed in honour of
a doctor who travelled with
John Forrest in
1869. The Aboriginal name for the area was Buckanoo.
Laver was the son of a convict who 'made good'. He was born in 1863 at Chinaman's Creek near Castlemaine, Victoria. He worked as a drover and at one stage helped bring livestock to the remote Kimberley region. It was while he was there that a prospector gave him a small gold nugget. This sparked his interest in prospecting and led him to come to W.A. when the goldrush started.
Laver studied medicine in Britain and was working as a doctor in Coolgardie when he met a group of miners who had just staked a claim that they called British Flag. They told Laver about the find and he purchased a bicycle and rode 390 kilometres out to the area to see for himself what was going on. On his first prospecting trip Laver found 600 oz of gold and he then began promoting the find to investors in England.
Although interested in prospecting, Laver was always a doctor first and he never refused treatment to any who needed it, even if they could not pay.
Twentieth Century Impressions of W.A.
(C) Don Copley