Woodanilling is located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. It sits between the larger towns of Wagin to the north and
Katanning to the south.
There are some interesting attractions located within the shire including Queerearrup Lake. When water levels were higher this was a recreation area used
for water skiing and swimming. These days it is a pleasant picnic spot and a place to check out the local wildlife. There are toilets, BBQs, shelters, seats, tables and
untreated tank water available.
On the way to Queerearrup Lake you will pass Kenmare Hall. This hall has been restored and contained some interesting historic informatin about the area.
was probably the first European to pass through this area and he was followed by
and then by Alfred Hillman.
who was always on the lookout for land to fill up the enormous grant of 100,000 acres he had been given, came through
the area to look at it for himself. He was followed by
Henry Maxwell Lefroy
and Henry Landor and although these explorations all took place before 1843, is was a long time before the first settlers arrived.
Elijah Quartermaine grazed sheep in the area from around 1850 and in 1852 Edward Hamersley took up a pastoral lease on the Bedford River but
it was sandalwood that first drew people to the area.
Originally known as Yarabin the townsite was surveyed and gazetted in 1892 as Woodanilling. The name originates from a spring in Boyerine
Creek about a kilometre south of the town. It is Aboriginal in origin and may relate to either bronze wing pigeons or minnows.
Originally nothing more than a railway siding, the first inhabitant of the town was a railway ganger called Harry Stevens. There was no
station master to start with and mail was simply dropped by the tracks for anyone who was passing to sort out.
Mrs. Stevens voluntarily took on the job of looking after and sorting the mail and eventually her services were officially recognised
and she was awarded a wage.
The town's first hotel was built in 1900 (the hotel you see today was built in 1908) and a Road Board established in 1906. By about this
time there were a number of buildings in town including a Blacksmith, Wheelwright, 5 General Stores, Post Office, Banks, Hotel, Hospital,
School, Bakery, Church, Barbers, Boarding House, Saddlery Shop, Railway Station, and the first trotting track outside the Perth Metro area.
One of the oldest buildings in town (in fact in the whole area) is the general store. It was built in 1880 and as it is the only one
still operating in town, it outlasted the 4 other competitors that once supplied goods to some 800 townspeople.
In April 1920 there was a mini-gold rush when someone claimed to have found a nugget. When no other gold was found everything settled
down again and the fact that the original 'strike' was made on April 1st may have had some significance.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Queerearrup Lake, Martup Pool, Heritage Trail, King Rock, Wingedyne nature reserve, Marracoonda church, Kenmore Hall.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6316
Local Government : Shire of Woodanilling
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