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Waroona

Drakes brook Dam

WAROONA

 

HEMA Map reference 74/E3

 

32 50' 28" S 115 55' 19" E

 

 

Where is this?

 

 

 

 

Statistics

 

Km from Perth

112

Population

2850

Rainfall

1029mm

Max Temp

C

Min Temp

C

Autogas

Available

Telecentre

Yes

 

Caravan Parks

 

Lake Navarino

08 9733 2106

Waroona

08 9733 1518

 

Services

 

Hospital

08 9733 5007

Police

08 9733 1230

Fire

08 9733 1599

SES

08 9733 1773

RAC

08 9733 1848

Visitor Centre

08 9733 1506

 

 

Attractions

 

Waroona Dam, Samson Dam, Drakesbrook Weir.

 

Calendar Of Events

 

April: All Australian car day. August:  Dancing daffodils ball. October: Agricultural show. November: Celebrity cricket.

 

Waroona Hotel

Navarino campsite

Description

 

Originally called Drake’s Brook (after W.H. Drake – a land holder), Waroona sits at the foot of the Darling Scarp on the South West Highway. A short distance to the east in the hills is Waroona Dam which caters for swimming and water skiing. The crystal clear waters are refreshing and the surrounding bushland is tranquil. Campsites are available near the dam and fees are payable.

Poor rains over recent years have led to low water levels in the dam and most of the water based activities have been put on hold.

The area was settled in 1891 by John Fouracre (Another source dates the settlement as 1854 or 1856 – Fouracre actually built a house at location 57 at
Lake Clifton in 1852 before moving to Wellington location 205 and building the wayside inn in 1854.), whose family gradually moved away until his daughter Leah was the only one left at the old inn. She closed the inn and began farming the property on her own.

 

On August 18th 1907, George Shenton was passing the farm when he noticed that the building had been damaged by fire. On closer examination he found that most of the structure had been burned down and that Leah lay dead inside.

 

Initially it looked as though she had died while trying to rescue her possessions from the blaze but her dog kept leading people to an area away from the house and here some bloodstains were found. An examination of her body found that she had been shot. As the matter was investigated it turned out that Leah's rifle, horse and other items were missing.

 

Prior to Leah's death, a man had been seen staying near the farm and a number of witnesses were able to give a description. The name Berchman was mentioned but no one by that name was found.

 

When some of Leah's possessions turned up at a pawn shop in Bunbury it was easy enough for the authorities to trace them back to a man named Augustin de Kichilan. Kichilan (a.k.a. Berchman) was arrested, tried and found guilty of murder. He was executed on October 23rd 1907.


The townsite was gazetted in 1895 and Drake’s Brook became Drakesbrook. (apparently this name was more ‘euphonious’ – reaches for dictionary – pleasant sounding? I am hard pressed to tell the difference between the two??)

A timber mill was developed within the townsite limits and railway siding that was initially called McDowell’s and then became Waroona. In 1946. Drakesbrook was re-named Waroona which is said to be a misspelled version of Werroona - the home of early settler J. McDowell - in Victoria. (Another source quotes the name change as taking place in 1961.)

Tall tales & true: Another murder.

In 1919, 29 year old Otto Bismark Haub was shot and killed by Robert Phal (56).

There had been an on-going dispute between the two men about shooting ducks on Preston Lake. Haub used to fire into the air to scare the ducks away if he knew Phal was hunting and this eventually boiled over into an argument and Phal shot Haub in the chest.

Phal fled the district but was arrested in
Perth but at his trial he was found ‘not guilty’ on the grounds of insanity. He was held at ‘His Majesty’s Pleasure’ for 10 years before he was released.

Yet another murder?

Albert ‘Dingo’ Gates was thought to have murdered his fried, Alec Hay, when Alec vanished (in 1920) and Albert was found to be in possession of Alec’s saddle, bridal and harness. A search party failed to find any trace of Alec and there was not enough evidence to charge Albert with any wrong doing.

That turned out to be just as well as Alec eventually turned up in 1962! Bob Lyons, when visiting
Southern Cross, happened to recognise Alec, who had changed his name, and the mystery was at last solved. Alec had given his saddle etc. to Albert before setting off to make a new start in another town.

Down the well.

In 1978, three year old Julie Styles fell through the rotten wooden cover of a well on the family property. She was being looked after for the day by her aunt, 62 year old Mona Styles.

Mona jumped down the well after the child but was then trapped 28 feet down. Julie’s sister, Robyn (5 years old) was the only other person around and Mona asked her to phone for help. She was unable to work out how to use the phone and Mona was left clinging to a pipe in the well while trying to support Julie.

After an hour in the cold water Mona’s hands were going numb but luckily Julie’s parents arrived home in time and a rescue was affected with a length of rope. Very soon afterward, Robyn was taught how to use a phone…
 

 

 

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...