HEMA Map reference 76/F4
28° 32' 20" S 115° 30' 43" E
Coal seam. Old glacier, Noondumarra Pool, Waterfalls & De Grey Stock Route picnic area, Kembla Zoo, St Andrew’s Church, Tallering Peak, Outdoor art gallery, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church, Pindar 30Km east, 5 different walk trails, Tenindewa 15Km west.
Buildings of note
Our Lady of St. Carmel, Doney St. 1921, St. Andrew's church 1921, Pindar hotel (30km east) 1905, Boolardy station 1880, Mt. Narryer station 1920.
Calendar of events
Famous sons & daughters
St Andrews Anglican church
The Gregory brothers passed through the area and camped somewhere near the present site of the town on September 19th 1848.
The early history of the shire is one of conflict with the local Aborigines. To begin with shepherds moved in to the area (in the 1850s) bringing with them large flocks of sheep. They camped near the most available water sources and when the local tribes realised that these newcomers were not going to go away they began to help themselves to the sheep.
The shepherds were mostly on their own and if they felt threatened they tended to shoot first and ask questions later. Tit-for-tat killings ensued and eventuated in the killings of James Rudd and Thomas Bott at Butterabby (1864).
Five Aborigines were sentenced to death and one was sentenced to life imprisonment. The executions were carried out at Butterabby (1865) in front of other members of the tribe and this effectively ended any further opposition from the local Aborigines.
Yuin Station was the first permanent settlement in the area and others soon followed. A police station was established at Mt. Wittenoom and a compound gazetted in December 1878.
The town seems to have developed due to the difficulty in getting wool bales over the long sand flats to Geraldton. Heavy 4 wheeled wagons could only get so far west before becoming bogged in the sand. Smaller two wheeled drays were needed to get the wool all the way to the coast.
The solution was to build a storage shed and a house for the manager and his family (Alexander Gregg and his family became the town's first permanent residents but sadly Alexander Jr. - aged just 2 - was killed in an accident with a horse and became the first person buried in town on the 16th of January 1889.) The wool store was built in 1885 and it was expanded two years later.
When gold was discovered in the Murchison the town became an important stop over and re-supply base for the prospectors who were drawn to the area in their hundreds.
The shire was declared in 1861 but it was 1894 before the town site was surveyed and it became a municipality in the following year.
The railway reached town in 1894 from Geraldton and it became an important transport hub for the lower Murchison. The railway was to virtually guarantee the town's survival.
One source says name is supposed to be derived from the Aboriginal word for swan but another quotes ‘place of fog’ and this does seem the more likely of the two considering the town is located in a shallow valley in which fogs occasionally develop.
Initially it was difficult, considering the size of the
shire, to get a Road Board formed and this did not take place until 1911.
The town's first agricultural show was held in 1929 and over 2,500 people attended. It was such a success that it was decided to make it an annual event.
Some effort has obviously been expended to make the town attractive but when we visited a few years back the main street was looking a bit empty. We have since been informed that fortunes are changing and the town centre is once again coming back to life.
One industry that is likely to breathe new life into the
area is iron ore. The Mt. Gibson mine now operates and there are plans to
expand the iron ore industry in the mid west.
Tall tales and true: On the slab.
Jack Park was a drover who decided to open up a butcher shop in town. His business was successful and the one thing that his customers made comment on was the large marble slab he used to carve the meat on.
There was all sorts of conjecture about the origin of the marble slab but it was not until Jack sold up and the slab was turned over that the mystery was finally sold.
On the underside were the carved words: "James A. Duncan - Rest in peace."
A shortage of beer in town (one of the greatest tragedies to befall any community) prompted Charles Truslove to write about it. Following is the first verse of his ballad. We take it from the poem that Mullewa should be pronounced Mulle-war.
When Mullewa ran short of beer.
Don't talk to me of hardships on the fighting fields of France
and all the things that happened at the war
There's something I will tell you that you haven't heard perchance
of the suffering that they had in Mullewa
Tis a thing to be remembered plant it firmly inn your mind
We'll never see the like again I fear
And in the distant future years in history books we'll find
the day that Mullewa ran short of beer.
Monsignor John Hawes Trail
The John Hawes Trail follows the places where this remarkable man designed and constructed churches and chapels through out the towns of the Mid-West. His churches can be found at Perenjori, Morawa, Mullewa, Geraldton, Northampton, Yalgoo, Carnamah, Nanson and Bluff Point.
John Hawes was born at Richmond in England and studied architecture before becoming an Anglican Minister. He worked as a missionary but seems to have had a change of heart about which brand of religion to follow and joined the Catholic Church.
He came to the Mid-West in 1915 and began designing and building a series of churches through out the region. In 1930 he became the official Diocesan Architect but in 1939 he left for Cat Island in the Bahamas and never came back to W.A.
He spent 24 years in W.A. and is responsible for the design and building of some 16 different buildings.