The town was originally developed due to the presence of timber cutters in the area and as land was cleared some agriculture began to develop.
Northcliffe is a bit off the usual tourist routes but tourism is becoming increasingly important in the local economy.
The Pioneer Museum gives an insight into the hardships faced by the group settlers with displays that recall the lives of people who first attempted to settle the area.
Looking at the forests that still remain, it is easy to understand just how enormous the task of settling this part of W.A. must have been.
Early exploration dates from the 1830s and farming has carried on in the area since the 1860s but the town was not declared until 1924 under the Group Settlement Scheme.
Life for the early settlers was harsh, and many abandoned their land. The Minister of Agriculture (James Mitchell) was behind the idea to develop a town in this area and a little over three
months after the initial preparation began the first 300 settlers began to arrive. By June 1924 there were 2000 people in the area.
The government had unrealistic expectations of the project. There were no roads into the area and the railway would not arrive until 1933 when it became the terminus for the
Bridgetown to Jarnadup railway.
Development stagnated and by 1929 there were rumours that the government would close the town. Despite withdrawal of Government support the town struggled on but received another
blow with the onset of the Great Depression. Then came World War Two but again the little town refused to die.
After WWII the War Service Land Settlement Scheme brought a new wave of people into the district and Northcliffe saw some of the greatest expansion in its short history.
The town was probably named after Alfred C.W. Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe, who supported the group settlement idea as it is definitely not north and there are no cliffs nearby.
During World War Two a P.O.W. camp was established in the area.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Forest Park, Mount Chudalup, Windy Harbour, Salmon Beach, Lower Gardner Bridge, Broke Inlet, Boorara Tree, Lane Pool Falls, Shannon Dam, Gemstone museum.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Blackwood-Stirling
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6258
Local Government : Shire of Manjimup
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