Williams

 

 

WILLIAMS

 

GPS 33 01 49 S 116 52 46 E

 

 

 

 

FIND ACCOMMODATION

 

Bannister

Wandering

Narrogin

Quindanning

Nearby Towns

Darkan

Arthur River

 

 

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STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

160 Km

Population

914

Average Rainfall

531.6mm

Mean Max Temp

22.4C

Mean Min Temp

9.4C

 

SERVICES

Police

08 9885 1100

Fire and Rescue

08 9885 1116

Medical

08 9883 9999

Visitor Centre

08 9885 1005

 

CARAVAN PARKS

Williams

08 9885 6063

 

HOTEL / MOTEL

Hotel

08 9885 1016

Dwarda Downs

08 9885 6063

Gelfro Farm Stay

08 9884 5245

Springhills Farm

08 9885 7092

Bed and Breakfast

08 9885 1823

Country Accommodation

08 9885 1195

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

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link to Mingor.net website

DESCRIPTION

 

Williams is the first major settlement on Albany Highway heading south from Perth. We can recommend the lunches at the local hotel which is a good place to stop and break your journey to Albany.

The town is on a major road south but the main railway passed through Narrogin to the east and this seems to have stunted the growth of Williams somewhat. A branch line of the railway did finally reach Williams in 1905 (just in time for the inaugural agricultural show) but it was a case of too little too late to make any difference to the development of the town.

The agricultural industries surrounding the town consist mainly of wool, cattle and grains.

The Williams River passes through town and there is a pleasant rest area on the south west side of the bridge.

HISTORY

 

The first European to explore this area was Captain Thomas Bannister in 1831. At least that is what most of the books say. There were some doubts that he discovered the Williams River as the navigation, undertaken by Smythe, was highly suspect. Smythe's reckoning puts the party somewhere south west of Narrogin but as the party eventually came out on the coast to the west of their intended goal (Albany) it would appear that the Bannister party were actually somewhat west of the current route of the present day Albany Highway. This would mean that they had to cross the Williams River.

It is thought that the river was named after King William IV but there appears to be no documentary evidence to support this.

The first settler (Joseph Strelley Harris) arrived with 300 sheep in 1836. Harris was accompanied by Lt. Henry Bunbury and a detachment of soldiers in case there were any problems with local Aborigines but the Williams district seems to have been mostly free of the conflict that often flared closer to the coast. Bunbury described the land as 'Wretched.'

Land in the area was later taken up by E.T. Hooley (in partnership with others). It was Hooley that pioneered a stock route north to the Pilbara.

Local legend is that a wayside inn was established near a ford in the river in 1851 but the first licensed wayside inn was not noted until 1870 and was operated by Alfred Quatermaine. A government reserve was declared in 1851 but it was not until 1869 that a police station was erected on the site.

A bridge was built over the Williams River by convicts in 1855. This increased traffic between Perth and Albany making Williams a major stop-over point. The town site was first gazetted in 1897 and the plan was revised in 1905 when a sub-division called Marjidin was developed. The original settlement was on the south bank of the river but due to flooding it was moved across to the north bank.

When the name of the railway station was also changed to Marjidin the locals objected and it went back to being Williams and the Marjidin sub-division was incorporated into the rest of the town site.

The first Road Board was elected in 1871 but there were early problems in getting the far flung members to attend meetings and funds remained very restricted for a long time.

It took until 1959 for the town to be connected to a mains water scheme.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

Nothing here yet.

 

MAP

 

 

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OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Dryandra Forest, Milbrook, The old well, Heritage trail, Woolshed, Jesse Martin Museum, Lions park.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

Hotel, Post office, Agricultural Hall, Shire offices, Community Hall, Primary school.

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Roe

Federal : O'Connor

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : 6391

Local Government : Shire of Williams

 

PHOTOS

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