DUMBLEYUNG HISTORICAL WALK
Maps can be sourced from the Dumbleyung CRC location on the corner of Absolon St and Dawson St, and from the Shire Admin located at the corner of Harvey St and Dawson St.
FIRST STEP is located at the Dumbleyung Caravan Park opposite the Shire Admin building.
2. THE ORIGINAL POLICE BARRACKS
Constable Miller established a police barracks on this site on 5 January 1911. Prisoners were tethered to trees or logs until facilities were completed. In 1913 a cottage, outbuildings, station office, a two cell gaol, horse paddock and stables were erected. These buildings were demolished in 1980 and a new police complex was built in Absolon Street.
4. ST ANGUSTINE'S
The site of the first church in Dumbleyung built by the Baptist congregation and opened in 1912. The church closed its doors in 1918 and three years later Father John Frewer purchased the building on behalf of the Church of England. In 1958 this brick building replaced the old wooden structure. In 1997 St Augustine’s became the home of the Anglican and Uniting congregations.
6. TOC H.
The site of the TOC H Headquarters from 1938 until the early 1950s. TOC H in army signaller phonetic language originated in Belgium as Talbot House during WWI and offered fellowship and support to the soldiers. The movement spread worldwide and local resident Charles Morgan, an ex UK army officer, established the Dumbleyung branch. The members did voluntary work within the community. The 4 points on the TOC H compass were: To think fairly. To love widely. To witness humbly. To build bravely. The building housed a boy’s club and during WWII was the headquarters for the Volunteer Air Observer Corps.
8. NEW AUSTRALIANS
After WWII ended many Displaced Persons of European origin arrived in Western Australian country towns. Their passage was paid for by the Australian Government in return for two years work/service. Dumbleyung’s New Australians lived along the railway line in tents or shacks made of railway sleepers or in Nissan Huts. Later wooden cottages were built. Kas Dudek planted the sugar gums whilst a resident. GRAIN STORAGE FACILITIES. The area between the railway line and Bartram Road contained extensive open and covered grain storage facilities which were eventually demolished when new facilities were erected in their current position. CROWN LAND CAMP. On the opposite side of the railway line closer to Bi-Centennial Park was an area commonly used by the old timers. Here they erected their tents or humpies. In the 1950s the Aboriginals lived there in tents until state housing was provided for them. Firstly the Aboriginals were housed in Bartram Street and then they were integrated into the general township.
11. POST OFFICE
The building was constructed by HJ Wilkinson in 1912 and officially opened in 1914. Prior to this Dumbleyung’s Post Office was located at Bahr’s farm ‘Hazeleigh’ where Mary Bahr was the first postmistress, commencing duties in 1907. The post office building housed the residence and later the telephone exchange. All telegrams were received and sent by morse code and the mail went by train until 1982. The Post Office and Newsagency were amalgamated in 1978.
13. BANK OF NSW
The WA Bank site from 1910 to 1927, then following a merger it became the Bank of NSW. This building was erected and opened in 1939. The bank gave 83 years continuous service to the district until, known as the Westpac Bank, it closed its doors in 1993. Between 1910 and 1944, three banks and two agencies operated at different times in Dumbleyung. The most prolific period was 1931 when 3 banks were in business.
14. NATIONAL BANK
This site was home to the National Bank from the early days until 1918. Bank premises were re-established by the Union Bank from 1929 to 1940. In 1942 WK English bought the building and established a livestock and general agency business. Ken Harley and then Lu Meredith continued the business until it became a sub-branch of Elder Smith Goldsborough Mort from 1963 until closing in 1984.
16. TOM SHEEHAN AND JACKY THE FISH
In 1912 Tom Sheehan established his newsagency, hairdresser, fancy goods, tobacco and billiard saloon businesses. Also Jack Andrews, better known as ‘Jacky the Fish’ had his well known Olympia Café in this area. Then in 1924 Sheehan sold the premises to George Wilson who leased the operating business to JW Bateman general drapers. The McDonald family followed from 1928 to 1964 and HE Williams from 1964 to 1971. The newsagency remained until 1978. WV ‘Sugar’ Cronin operated his hairdressing and billiard saloon on a portion of this block from 1934 to 1959.
Dumbleyung’s grandest building was built by AJ Tunney and opened for business on 21 December 1911. The hotel contained twenty four bedrooms, two classes of dining room, two sitting rooms, a 40,000 gallon water tank and stabling accommodation consisting of seventeen stalls and three loose boxes. Opponents of Mr Tunney thought the area was too low lying. In 1913 flood waters lapped the window sills and in 1945, 1955 and 1982 water flowed through the building. The original sale yards and 9 hole golf course were located at the rear of the hotel. In 1947 the golf course was relocated to Lake View.
20. BLACKSMITH PREMISES
Sam Harris and W `Billy’ Williams opened their blacksmith, wheelwright and farrier shop in Absolon Street in 1909 before building new premises on this site in 1916. Harold Rowe bought the business in 1926 and closed the doors in 1950.
In 1911 Rose Stockton established a bakery and confectionery shop. This joined Lawrence and Cridland’s butcher shop which was located next to the original recreation ground. WT Clark built these premises in 1941. Vern McIntyre and then Bill Wann continued to trade until the Tas family set up a bakery from 1965 to 1974. One of the first franchises for a Wesfarmers agency in WA was established by Keith and Dot Collins from 1977 to 1999. RB (Alf) Johnson established a house and insurance agency on the southern portion of the block from 1922 to 1943.
23. THE BEGINNING OF FARMERS CENTRE
LEG Ramm’s first contract with the International Harvester Co. was in 1936. Nine years later he set up his house and work premises on this site. His son Ken managed the business from 1956 to 1970 when Barry Wells became the new owner. The business expanded to other regional centres and has become one of the largest Case IH machinery dealers in the Southern Hemisphere. During 1965 new workshop offices were constructed facing Harvey Street. Dumbleyung’s first electrician Les Clark used the old premises from 1961 to 1975.
26. DUMBLEYUNG ROAD BOARD
The original site of the wooden Dumbleyung Road Board offices built in 1911. In 1962, the Shire relocated its premises and the St John Ambulance Sub Centre was built. In 1974 extensions to house two ambulances and provide lecture and kitchen facilities were completed. Part of the building was leased by the Education Department from 1970s to 1998 for use as a kindergarten.
Originally school classes were held in the town hall until the wooden school building was opened on 31 July 1912. Numbers increased after WWII when district schools were closed and children were transported by bus to Dumbleyung. The bristile units were installed in 1951 and a comprehensive building campaign started in the 1960s, culminating with the opening of the Dumbleyung District High School in 1968. Thirty one years later the district high school closed and the school resumed its status as a primary school.
1. HISTORICAL PRECINT
Known as the Historical Caravan Park because of its links with the past. Home to Malcolm’s old shop, the first bank and Doctor’s house (Dr Lovegrove), an overnight prisoner shelter, warehouse for the Post Office and Malcolm and Co, plus stables. In the 1920s Harry and Ruby Wann built a house and shop which fronted onto Harvey Street. The family sold fresh produce mostly grown in their market gardens situated at Sowden’s farm and Nunagin.
3. RSL HALL
Originally the site of the RSL hall. The little corrugated iron building was previously a dis-used school until re-erected in 1949 for use by the RSL and Ladies Auxiliary. The hall had many uses including an op-shop, overflow classroom for the school children during the evacuation and home to the Buffalo Lodge members. The building fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1986.
5. GOLDFIELDS HOUSE
Dumbleyung’s best example of a restored Goldfield’s House. A number of houses were purchased in the Goldfields, dismantled board by board and reassembled in Dumbleyung. This house was built in 1921 by Wilson Williams as a wedding gift for his bride Jess Basham. Restoration work was carried out by Grant and Felicity Cronin in the 1990s.
7. KELLOW'S GARAGE
Les Kellow built the garage in 1959 and in 1961 it was leased to Maurie Scullard, Robin Kellow and Ross McDonald. Les sold it to the Co-op in 1974 and the business operated until 1987 after which a number of independent owners ran the garage. In 1998 Dumbleyung Engineering was established.
9. COFFEE PLACE
COFFEE PALACE Coffee Palaces were set up by the Temperance Society as alcohol free establishments offering refreshments, accommodation and a venue for functions such as wedding receptions. Across the street, Chas P Ashton built the Coffee Palace in 1910 and also the building next door, the billiard saloon. The Coffee Palace burnt to the ground in 1930 and within a few years Ross and Gwen McDonald constructed this residence on the site. GENERAL AGENCY BUSINESS Built by Mr Van Barneveld in the 1950s, Keith and Molly Nicholls (1957 to 1977) and Norm and Beryl Robinson (1977 to 1986) operated a farm merchandise business.
10. RAILWAY STATION
The planning and surveying of the Wagin to Dumbleyung light industrial railway line began in May 1905. The line reached Dumbleyung in 1907 but was not officially opened until 5 years later when Premier Scadden was able to open both the Wagin to Dumbleyung and the recently completed Dumbleyung to Merilup (Kukerin) lines. Eight hundred people attended the gala opening. Dumbleyung has one of the last near complete railway precincts of its type in WA. The federation style station master’s house was built in 1912 and the station building in 1913. After transporting passengers, livestock, goods and mail, the station closed in 1982.
12. MALCOLM AND CO.
The first shop in Absolon Street. In 1909 when CA Piesse sold his Nippering and Dumbleyung general stores to Malcolm and Co, Mr Malcolm built this shop and closed the Nippering store in 1912. John Mitchell managed the business for 36 years, commencing on his own in 1928 while leasing the building from John Walter McIntyre. John Mitchell sold the business to John and Phyllis Stone in 1950. They built a new grocery shop on the western side of Malcolm and Co. Rob and Ailsa Farmer bought the business in 1957 and closed the shop in 1968. In the 1950s and 1960s Bill Dawson ran a machinery agency and out the back Wally Williams had a mechanical repair shop while Les and Thelma Kellow operated an electrical shop from 1965 to 1980. A shell drum depot was located at the rear of the block.
15. STUBBS AND JEFFREY
In 1909 two shops were established on this site, Harris and Williams the Blacksmith and Stubbs and Jeffrey General Merchants from 1909 to 1925. In 1925 long-time manager Leo Reilly purchased the shop and business. In 1945 the Co-Op bought the business and the drapery was managed by Margaret Chartres and later Maria Idziak. The building was demolished in 1985. The two brick buildings replacing the old blacksmith shop were built in 1926 by George Wilson who leased to Alexander Galt, a hardware importer. The other shop was a tearoom until the Corke family moved across the road and established the Roadhouse in the early 1960s. Carrier and Walduck ran a greengrocer and deli outlet from 1960 to 1975.
17. JT WEST
JT West ‘The Father of Dumbleyung’ was responsible for building eight bricks shops on Lot 43. Four shops faced Absolon Street and the other four shops fronted Bennett Street, south of Violet Lane. In 1912 the original tenants in the main street included a saddler, tailor, mercer and outfitter and a fruitier, confectioner and baker. Later a butcher, baker (Kernutt family 1924 to 1948), bank, tea room, radio and chemist shop were located on this site. By 1921 Frederick Bahr had purchased the buildings and they remained with the Bahr family until being donated to the Shire in the late 1970s. The buildings were demolished in 1983. The Violet Lane shops housed a boot maker, hairdresser, S P betting shop (George Neville), Sunshine agency (Bill Harding Snr and Jnr), wheat buyer and lending library.
The site of the original Co-operative (Co-op) building, a wooden structure erected in 1918. The Co-op traded in wheat, livestock, skins, hardware, machinery and sold farmland as well as operating a number of agencies including Wesfarmers. A grocery department was added in 1923 but it closed during WWII when there were five grocery outlets in town and businesses were struggling to stay afloat. The Co-op building has seen many renovations and name changes. In 1997 a fire destroyed the old premises and this brick building was opened on 3 April 1998. The longest serving managers were Len Sorrell 1921 to 1942 and Harold Aldridge 1958 to 1978.
21. DAWSON BROTHERS GARAGE
Dawson Brothers, Wes and Alan, established the first taxi service in 1919. Due to the demand for purchasing and repairing motorised vehicles, Dawson’s garage was built on this site. Later, a more modern lubritorium was added. In 1951 the businesses were purchased by the Co-op and by 1974 they relocated to Kellow’s Garage in Absolon Street. Bill Smart was Co-op foreman from 1951 to 1986. The buildings were demolished in the mid 1970s. In 1926 Dawson Brothers expanded their business and built a car showroom to display GM cars. A hardware and grocery section was introduced in 1934. The building was used as a Co-op storeroom, Wesfarmers agency and housed the Dumbleyung theatre club. The Vintage Car Club bought the building in 1982.
24. BOARDING HOUSE
Business woman Rose Stockton owned the first house from which she ran a boarding facility and dining room. Her husband Angus, the vet, owned the livery stable. Seth Hargraves plumber, gas fitter, general mechanic, tank maker and galvanised iron worker had his business located next door.
25. CK CAMPBELL
CK Campbell, a saddler and harness maker, operated his business from 1920. In 1935 the building was purchased by the CWA. During WWII evacuees from Perth lived in the building. Unfortunately, in 1952, a fire burnt out the inside of the wooden building. The CWA continued to use the facility until new rest rooms were completed in 1958. In 2006 the CWA building was purchased by the Shire.
27. TOWN HALL
The original wooden town hall was built, in 1909, adjacent to this site. In 1929 a group of independent citizens, known as the ‘Hall Committee’, lobbied and built Dumbleyung’s second town hall. They struggled to meet the loan repayments so the Dumbleyung Road Board took control and managed the building. In 1962 the Shire Offices were built adjoining the hall. Situated at the rear of the hall is the powerhouse building which provided DC power from 1929 until mid 1960s when Dumbleyung was connected to 240 volt electricity. The building now houses the community and shire archives.
In 1925 the hospital was built and the foundation stone was laid by three pioneering women, Mesdames J Cronin, I Bairstow and W Bennett. The first Doctor, Dr Lovegrove, arrived in 1925 but prior to this the district was well served by Nurse Lewin. In 1937 the nurses’ quarters were built in memory of the post master Charlie Bates. The last resident Doctor left in the 1970s.