Take a trip back to old Kalgoorlie and explore the houses and gardens of yesteryear in a special lecture at the Western Australian Museum – Kalgoorlie-Boulder on 18 July.
WA Museum Regional Manager Zoe Scott said the lecture, presented by local history enthusiast Robyn Horner, will provide a backstory to the classic federation style houses that line the Goldfield’s streets today.
“Paddy Hannan’s discovery of gold in 1893 saw a sudden influx of people coming into the Goldfields,” Ms Scott said.
“As more gold was found, the population grew and housing changed from canvas and bungalow tents with bough sheds made from bushes and tree branches, to more substantial, federation style homes made of brick, stone and timber.
“Despite water being a rare resource before O’Connor’s pipeline started delivering it to the Goldfields from Mundaring in 1903, men and women planted seeds and tended vegetable and flower gardens.”
The lecture will compare photographs of local houses in the late 1890s to what they look like today, and reveal the stories of the Goldfield’s oldest and grandest buildings.
Ms Scott said the lecture is a great way to explore the history behind the images of old Kalgoorlie in the John Joseph Dwyer photographic exhibition, An Everyday Transience, on display at the Museum until 21 October.
“The Museum is always looking for ways to share the history of the Goldfields and its people, and lectures like this one are a great way to bring the Museum’s collection to life,” Ms Scott said.
Robyn Horner, a third-generation ‘Kalgoorlian’, is a long-time member of the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society and began researching the names of old Kalgoorlie houses five years ago.
“Growing up in Kalgoorlie, I noticed a lot of the older homes had names, and for me these old houses sum up the history of the Goldfields so I wanted to know the stories behind them,” Ms Horner said.
“A lot of the grand federation style houses from the late 1800s and beyond are still standing; the people living in them now may have no idea of the historical significance behind their home.”
‘Bough Sheds and Golden Blooms: houses and gardens of old Kalgoorlie’ will be presented at the Western Australian Museum – Kalgoorlie-Boulder on Wednesday 18 July, at 5:30pm.
Entry to the public lecture is by donation, with bookings essential on 9021 8533.