Norseman is the southern gateway to W.A. and 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. Norseman is the first chance to re-stock on items that had to be used before the quarantine station or surrendered.
The future of the town is closely linked to mining and its fortunes have fluctuated over the years with rises and falls in the price of gold. At one time the goldfield at Dundas was second only to The Golen Mile
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
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 its 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 1895 (sone sources quote 1894 but this appears to be incorrect). 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 giant mine tailings dump near town gives some indication of how extensive the mining
operation at Norseman has been in the past.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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.
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
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6450
Local Government : Shire of Dundas
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