History Book

Drawn to Mt Magnet – Wannars – Dollypots – Shears

By Karen Morrissey and Lorna Day

First Published 1995  Reprinted 2011

Foreword by  Maj-Gen The Hon Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd)  Governor of Western Australia (1995), Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia (2011).

Drawn to Mt Magnet” is filled with stories and insights which express the unique character and resilience of  those who live in this ancient, semi arid and remote part of the Murchison Geo Region, Western Australia.

It records the  history, cultural and natural heritage of Mount Magnet, longest surviving gold mining centre in Western Australia  (since 1891) and earlier pastoral industry (from 1870’s). The story begins from earliest times when the land was first settled by Aboriginal people and the subsequent colonial exploration. The arrival and settlement by shepherds and prospectors which developed into the two major industries which caused and sustained the township, a railway and a community is told, through to the modern digital age.

The book is easy to read, with each chapter covering an era, with dedicated  headings for quick reference. It is also indexed. Original, even rare  black and white (sepia) photos from private family albums, colour photographs, maps and sketches add a visual reference to this rich historical resource.

Unlike many local history books written by a contracted writer – “Drawn to Mt Magnet” is the result of ten years (voluntary) research and writing by two long time residents – Lorna Day and Karen Morrissey (Meeline Station). Working with many primary sources, some people interviewed, lived in Mount Magnet from the 1890’s and included the last speaker of the Badimia language, who had lived a traditional life in his early years on a pastoral property, on country.

Wannar – wooden multi purpose tool used by traditional Badimia people

Dolly Pot – used by prospectors to crush ore to extract  gold.

Shears – large metal scissors used  before mechanisation, to shear sheep.

The updated edition (2011) of “Drawn to Mt Magnet” is available from the Shire of Mount Magnet office +61(08) 9963 3000 and Mount Magnet Visitor Centre/Mining and Pastoral Museum (southern entrance to town) +61(08) 9963 4172  Soft Cover $50 Postage $19  .