Narembeen is in the heart of the wheatbelt and is a small attractive town.
Roe Lookout is about 15km from the town on Emu Hill. At the base of the hill is Emu Well which was a source of water for the early settlers.
This is the highest point in the district and give excellent views of the surrounding countryside
Wakemans Lake is located east of town. The lake is popular for water skiing if there have been enough winter rains. Toilets, BBQs and picnic facilities
Twine reserve is 55km south east of town. This reserve is a popular place to walk and see wildflowers in spring.
Roe Dam was built in 1971 and is about 40km east of town. Picnic and BBQ facilities are provided and the area is popular with bird watchers.
Closer to town, in fact right next to it, is Walkers Lake. Well named is seems as there is a walk trail around the lake and a picnic area.
John Septimus Roe was again the first European explorer
to travel through the area in 1836. Roe gave Emu Hill its name after the birds that he found living here. Today a monument to him sits on top of the
hill that is also referred to a Roe Lookout.
Narembeen appears to have been established as a place to build a pub. Many towns have grown up around an existing pub but this one was established
with the express purpose of building a hotel. The teetotal settlement of Emu Hill (gazetted in 1918) would not allow a pub in their town so Henry Hale
and Paddy Connolly started a private town of their own and built the pub in 1922 that still exists.
Settlement began in 1850 but remained sparse until after 1920 when the railway finally arrived. The building of the hotel was all it took for Narembeen
to overtake Emu Hill and become the major settlement in the area and by 1925 the town's population had risen to over 2000. Narembeen, although
a reasonable sized town was not gazetted until 1968.
Narembeen appears to have been originally spelled Narimbeen and was used as the name of Charles Smith's property that was situated around
Emu Hill. The property was later renamed Cumminin and Narimbeen was not used again for quite some time. The meaning of the name is unsure
but one source quotes 'place of the female emu'.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
The story of the Blain brothers (Frank and Bert) is closely connected with the development of the area and but for the First World War, it may have
had a much happier ending.
The brothers came out to Western Australia in 1910 after being seduced by advertising that said things like; 'No droughts! Splendid climate! Abundant
rainfall! Land given away'. Obviously there were no false advertising laws back then.
They worked hard at a number of jobs while building up enough money to purchase their own land. Eventually in 1911 they got over 900 acres in what
is now the shire of Narembeen.
They lost almost everything in a bushfire in 1912 and had to return to working for others to get the money to replace their losses.
The next two years were spent getting the farm back in order and struggling to keep their heads above water. By the time the First World War started
the brothers were starting to see some return for their hard work and in 1915 they had an exceptional year. So much so that they were the only ones
in the area to clear their debts and make a small profit.
Unfortunately they were caught up in the madness of war and after enlisting in 1916 went to fight in France. Bert was wounded in 1917 and died from
the effects of the wound. His brother died in similar circumstances the following year. They were just two of the sad losses in the meat grinder that
was the Western Front.
Sometime before he died, Bert wrote home to his family; 'You sometimes hear of these stay-at-home nobs writing about the glorious battlefield etc -
they ought to come and smell one, and see if they can sniff anything glorious about it. I fail to.'
It is individual stories like this that bring home the stupid waste of life that war is responsible for and yet all over the world insane people continue to
fight each other for no good reason. As if everyday life wasn't hard enough!
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Museum, Hidden Hollow, Roe Lookout, Wakemans Lake, Graball nature reserve, Railway goods shed, Mt. Walker Rock, Anderson Reserve, Twine Reserve, Roe Dam, St. Paul's Church, Gate 54, Machinery Museum, Walker's Lake trail, Cairns Rock, Wadderin Wildlife Sanctuary, The Old Prospector's Trail, Holleton, Apex Park, E.M. Jones Park, Walkers Lake Walk Trail.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Hotel 1925, Museum 1928, Road Board building 1927, Town Hall 1940.
State : Central Wheatbelt
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6369
Local Government : Shire of Narembeen
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