MURRAY DISTRICTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Located at the Old Schoolmaster's House, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Pinjarra.
Opening hours from 11am to 3pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Do You Know That?
The Murray Districts Historical Society was formed in 2009 with the primary object to research, collect and preserve the history of the Murray District. The Society’s home, in the Old Schoolmaster’s House within the Heritage Precinct of Edenvale, Pinjarra, boasts a wonderful collection of photographs and stories of 186 years of history. Artefacts representing aspects of early life in the Murray District can be seen at Edenvale Homestead, home of the McLarty family for more than 70 years and at the Roger May Museum.
Pinjarra is the central town of the Shire of Murray which stretches from North Dandalup in the north, Dwellingup in the east, Coolup in the south and the river settlements of Furnissdale, North and South Yunderup and Ravenswood in the west. The Shire has an area of 1,710.1 square kilometres and is located in the Peel Region about 80 kilometres south of the Perth central business district. It extends across the Peel Inlet and the Swan Coastal Plain into the Darling Scarp and includes about 77,000 hectares of State forests.
Throughout the history of Pinjarra and the Murray District, the river has remained a focal point for residents and visitors. The Murray River is named after Sir George Murray, Secretary of State for the colonies from 1828 – 1830. It flows from deep in the Darling Range, where it is joined by the rivers Hotham, North and South Dandalup, and Williams. After it flows through the town of Pinjarra it widens and thence flows via Ravenswood, Yunderup and the Murray River delta to the Peel Inlet.
Developments such as the Dandalup Dams and the Dawesville Cut have made a difference to the river itself. The possibility of flooding has greatly diminished but the flood level marks of the past are a constant reminder of devastating flooding of the Murray – from Pinjarra to the estuary. The current traffic bridge in Pinjarra was built in 1954 but there had been 5 previous bridges – all of which had been damaged by floods.
Sadly, the first well known date in Pinjarra’s history is 1834, the year of the Massacre of Pinjarra. This was the year that the administration of the newly settled Swan River Colony declared their desire for a townsite on the Murray River at Pinjarra, the town deriving its name from the local Aboriginal tribe known as Bindjareb. For 150 years, farming, fishing, the railway and the timber industry provided the main occupations for the new settlers in the Murray District. With the arrival of Alcoa and with mining in Boddington, the population of the area expanded with many more job opportunities. Now, in the 21st Century there is a modern shopping centre and increasing modern facilities. Before the extension of the Freeway, Pinjarra was still a popular place for travellers to stop en route south on the South West Highway. The Copper Kettle Restaurant, originally known as Central Tearooms and now replaced by the Dome – was a well-known ‘tea-rooms’ for more than 60 years.
For more photos and stories of the rich history of the Murray, look at our Website http://www.murrayhistory.org.au/home
You can also Like us on Facebook here.
Do you have an interest in the history of Pinjarra and the Murray Districts?
We are always looking for more volunteers to assist with the opening hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm and with our various projects.
If you would like to become one of our volunteers, please advise
For information about the Murray Districts Historical Society, its membership and its activities, please visit us at Edenvale during opening hours or contact Dawn Hodgkinson, Secretary by email firstname.lastname@example.org