22 November 2009

The Bowes Gates

Located in the south-west corner of the museum are a pair of cast-iron farm gates. Their story is about to be told with a new sign that will be installed nearby.

Back in the later part of 19th Century, two brothers, Edward and Frank Wittenoom, created a pastoral empire of 11 million acres in the Murchison District. They also had an import/export business based in Geraldton. Wool from their stations was carted to their warehouse by wagon (first pulled by horses, and later camels). Before the coming of the railways, the wagons carted the wool overland to Yuin Station, then westward to the Greenough River which was followed to Nundamarra Pool. They then went westward to Bowes Station near Northampton (owned by an uncle of the Wittenooms) and onto Geraldton. At the port the wool was stockpiled until there was sufficient to charter ships to send that wool to England.
Known locally as Bowes Gates, these gates were made by jobbing blacksmiths and brought out from England as ballast in the wool ships. They were then carted by those wool wagons (like the one in the Display Shed at this museum) out to the Murchison properties.
These gates were trucked down from Boolardy Station to this museum in the early 1970s. They were donated by R.F.B. (Bob) Lefroy. Similiar gates were used on Murgoo and Pindatharra Stations and at Woorree homestead (just to the east of Geraldton).
Many thanks to Stan Gratte for prociding this information.

07 November 2009

New Opening Hours

We have changed our opening hours. The museum will now be open from 9.30am to 3.30pm. In doing so, we hope to make the museum more accessible for the early travellers.