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(C) Don Copley

NORSEMAN

(Shire of Dundas)

 

HEMA Map reference 75/D13

 

32 11' 49" S 121 46' 46" E

 

 

Where is this?

 


 

 

Statistics

 

Km from Perth

724

Population

1000

Rainfall

283mm (163.6)

Max Temp

24.4C (46)

Min Temp

10.5C (-3.1)

Autogas

Available

Telecentre

Yes

 

Caravan Parks

 

Gateway

08 9039 1500

Fraser Range

08 9039 3210

 

Services

 

Hospital

08 9039 1100

Police

08 9039 1000

Fire

08 9039 1200

RAC

08 9039 1193

Visitor Centre

08 9039 1071

 

Attractions

 

Beacon Hill Lookout, Mt Jimberlana, Historical collection, Gemstone lease, Bromus Dam, Buldania Rocks, Lake Dundas Mine, Peak Charles National Park, Dundas Coach Road heritage trail, Dundas Rocks, Woodlands walk, Phoenix Park, Statue of Norseman, McDermid Rock, Cave Hill, Old mine workings.

 

Buildings of note

 

Unknown

 

Calendar Of Events

 

March: Races. Mid year: Motocrosse. June: Gymkhana. December: Gala day.

 

Description

 

In 1892 Mawson and Kirkpatrick found gold in the Dundas hills 20 kilometres south of Norseman. 'Mawson's Reward' was the first claim registered on what became the Dundas goldfields. In 1893 the Dundas townsite was laid out near Noganyer Soak.

 

In 1894 gold was found near present day Norseman and the find was better than that at Dundas. As the new site developed, the old one fell into decline.

 

The story of how Norseman got it’s name relates to a gold miner named Laurie (or Lawrence) Sinclair. On the way from work in the Coolgardie gold fields he stopped off to see his brother, and his horse ‘Hardy Norseman’ uncovered a large gold nugget with it’s hoof. Norseman is perhaps the only town in the state named after a horse. (It appears that Sinclair – who came from the Shetland Islands – was also of Norse descent so the story of the horse uncovering the gold may just be folk-lore.)


The town was declared in 1894 (one source quotes 1895 which we believe is the correct date). By 1905 Norseman had a population of over 3000. The Aboriginal name for the area is Jimberlana.

Low rainfall in the area meant that miners were not only engaged in a search for gold but also for water. Rainwater was supplemented by distilling salt water but it wasn't until 1936 that a regular supply of water was available in the town.

Although much of the gold has run out it is believed that the area produced over 100 tons of gold during its working life.

The gateway to W.A. Norseman is a major stopping point for those coming to this state from the east. The quarantine station that used to be here is now located at Border Village many kilometres to the east

In 2006 we got word that the mine (a major employer in the town) was to be closed down. What effect the will have on the long term future of the town is hard to say.

Tall tales & true: Gold scam.

The publican at the local hotel had arrived recently from England and decided to place a sign advertising the business on the Eyre Highway.

He employed two somewhat shady characters to put the sign up and when they returned they showed him a small gold nugget that they claimed they had found while digging the post holes.

A mining lease was obtained and the publican hired the men to work the lease. He not only paid them but gave them free accommodation in the hotel.

In the mornings he would take them out and drop them off and in the evenings they would return to the pub. This went on for some time before someone let on to the publican that he was being scammed and he promptly threw out the two con-men.

 

Dundas Coach Road Heritage Trail details

Start at the Norseman Visitor Centre 0 0km

Mines Rd intersection 0.13km

Talbot St intersection 0.30km

Alsopp St intersection 0.43km

Okay Rd / Crampton St junction 1.03km

Stop 1: Trail-head and general information

The Norseman racecourse and early social life 1.45km

Mine access road 2.51km

Stop 2: The historic Cumberland and Kirkpatrick

mines. The coach road and its coaches 4.11km

Stop 3: Reworking the workings - a 1990s open cut 5.26km

Junction with old coach road 6.50km

Stop 4: The Lady Mary mine and townsite.

A lonely goldfields grave 7.83km

Access track to Iron Duke site 8.28km

Stop 5: The Iron Duke Decline - the search goes on 8.45km

Return to main trail route 8.67km

Enter Brockway Timber Reserve 10.62km

Access track to Break O'Day site 11.93km

Stop 6: The Break O'Day cricket pitch 12.08km

Return to main trail route 12.22km

Stop 7: Headframes and head-strong miners

The Brockway Timber Reserve and its trees 14.94km

Stop 8: The old east-west telegraph line

Mawson's Reward and the May Bell mine

Bush tucker / bush medicine 19.81km

Mt Henry mine access road 22.64km

Old Coach Rd goes west 23.86km

Stop 9: Old Dundas Dam - the struggle for water 24.24km

Stop 10: The rise and fall of the original Dundas Townsite

Life in early Dundas: hard but happy 24.70km

Coolgardie - Esperance Highway 26.50km

Ramsay St intersection 47.55km

Roberts St intersection 47.75km

Back to the Visitor Centre 47.88km

 

 

(C) Don Copley

 

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...

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