Outback Family History

State Library of Western Australia

Aboriginal HistoryBook FinderCemeteriesHotelsMaps of the GoldfieldsMilitaryMinersMiscellaneousPeoplePlaces on the Goldfields Place Index A-Z

This website is dedicated to the memory of my two dear friends Sandy Duncan and Shyama Peebles who both passed away in 2012.


Miscellaneous > But there is nothing there now

But there is nothing there now....

It is so disappointing when you travel out to where there used to be a Goldrush Town and there is nothing left… no sign of the vibrant old town … perhaps a small pile of old bricks or the odd hole in the ground that would have been the pub cellar … But nothing now!!

In the early days townships sprung up wherever a reasonable quantity of gold was found, if a mine was started it wasn’t long before a hotel and houses where built.

Most houses were built of a bush timber frame with canvas wall. Proper windows and doors were fitted and with white limewashed canvas, from a distance or in a photo they look like substantial structures. The whitewash on the canvas made the canvas rigid and went some way to stop the winds, hot and cold, blowing through the fabric. On the inside people pasted newspapers or paper pictures and later as old linoleum was found that was tacked on the inside. The roof, if you could find some, was recycled corrugated iron and the floor was just dirt. Woman would keep sprinkling it with water to compact it or if they could they would get termite mounds, crush them up then sprinkle water and pound them down so a flat surface could be achieved.

Hotelm.jpg (152785 bytes)

All building materials had to be transported a great distance by camel or wagon so they were very expensive. When the gold cut out or the mine closed every scrap was dismantled and moved to the next show and re-erected. When Mt Margaret townsite started to go down the owner of the hotel dismantled his 2 storey brick hotel, brick by brick, and moved the whole lot to the Mt Morgans townsite, and rebuilt it - the whole process was completed in 5 months, which was no mean feat. That hotel was eventually pulled down in the 1950’s.

Mtalex.jpg (188417 bytes)

Even today when renovating an old house in Kalgoorlie or Boulder, stripping the wall linings back you can still find old lino and original bits of old canvas. Another cheap wall lining material was cyanide drums - cut and flattened out they made good walls and fences.

Return to Miscellaneous

Next Record First Register of Midwives in Western Australia

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required