History of Dumbleyung

How Dumbleyung became ... well, Dumbleyung

Dumbleyung's name is of Noongar origin, coming from "Dambeling" which possibly means "large lake or inland sea" (although another source suggests it came from "dumbung", a game played with bent sticks and a hard piece of fruit.

The lake nearby was discovered and named "Dambeling Lake" by explorers Henry Landor and Henry Maxwell Lefroy in 1843, and the current spelling was used by surveyors in the 1860s and 1870s. Pastoralists and sandalwood cutters moved into the area, initially settling at Nippering, north of Lake Dumbleyung.


The first three families to settle in the area were the Cronin, Kersley and Bartram families. George Kersley, Sr. and his future son-in-law Henry Bartram were from pioneer families of the Beverley district and they used to take their sheep flocks from Beverley to Lake Dumbleyung for grazing. In 1875 Kersley received the first grazing leases and the Cronin family from Cork Ireland settled at "Bunkin" in 1878. Bartram settled his young family at "Wheatfield" on the edge of the Lake in 1886.


John & Eliza Cronin


George Kersley Sr, Richard Spanswick & W Quinn


Henry Bartram

In 1907, Dumbleyung was gazetted as a townsite and became the terminus of a railway from Wagin.

Tenders were called for the construction of an Agricultural Hall in 1909, and it was completed by 1910. The National Bank temporarily opened its town branch in the hall.

By 1915, Dumbleyung had grown to become the major rural service town in the region.


Opening of the original
Dumbleyung Town Hall in 1910.

1 New and Old Town Halls - PG 35.tif

The old and new halls in 1929. The old hall was auctioned and dismantled and is now the carpark for the new Town Hall.

Dumbleyung Town Hall


Dumbleyung Town Hall 



1 New and Old Town Halls - PG 35.tif
Town Hall 1.jpg

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First Families