Mount Morgans, Western Australia

Mount Morgans, known as Mount Morgan until 1899, is an abandoned town in Western Australia 900 kilometres (559 mi) northeast of Perth and 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Laverton on the original Malcolm-Laverton Road, in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Mount Morgans
Western Australia
Mount Morgans is located in Western Australia
Mount Morgans
Mount Morgans
Coordinates28°46′08″S 122°03′41″E / 28.76889°S 122.06139°E / -28.76889; 122.06139Coordinates: 28°46′08″S 122°03′41″E / 28.76889°S 122.06139°E / -28.76889; 122.06139
Established1896
Gazetted1899
Postcode(s)6440
Elevation432 m (1,417 ft)
Location
LGA(s)Shire of Laverton
State electorate(s)Kalgoorlie
Federal division(s)O'Connor

HistoryEdit

The first Europeans to visit the area were the party of government surveyor John Forrest which passed through in 1869 while on an expedition in search of the lost explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. Forrest named a nearby hill Mount Morgan after the expedition’s cook and shoeing smith, probation prisoner David Morgan. Morgan had arrived in Western Australia as a transported convict on Belgravia on 4 July 1866.[1]

The first gold was discovered in the Mount Morgan area in 1894, with a reward claim granted to prospectors Harry Swincer and Norman Sligo in December of that year.[2][3] Gold was discovered near the future townsite in 1896 by prospectors Harry Lilley and Samuel McInness. A claim was registered at Menzies on 15 June 1896.[4] The lease was sold in 1897 to Westralia Mount Morgan Gold Mines, Limited whose directors included Alexander Forrest (chairman), Sir James Lee Steere and engineer Alf Morgans, and which was developed as the Westralia Mount Morgan Mine.[5] The Mount Morgans Gold Mine produced gold during the periods 1896–1952, 1988–1997, 2010–2011, and 2017–2020.

The townsite was selected by the mining warden in March 1899,[6][7] and surveyed in July 1899. Public comment on the use of the name Mount Morgan for the town included ... "something might be done to relieve the monotony of the duplication of this title throughout the colonies...", due to the pre-existence of Mount Morgan, Queensland and Mount Morgan near Widgiemooltha, Western Australia. During 1899 the settlement was occasionally promoted as Morgansville, after Alf Morgans MLA.[8][9][10] It was gazetted as Mount Morgans on 29 December 1899.[11] A police station was established in 1899 when the population was 500.[12] By 1903 the population had reached 1,250 with over 500 buildings situated in the town. The town boasted six hotels, a hospital, a miners' union hall, two general stores and two chemists. The police station closed in 1928 then reopened in 1935 then closed again for the final time in 1937. The town was in deep decline in 1937 with a visiting police commissioner announcing the town was dead in July of the same year.

At its peak the town took up an area of 1,112 acres (450 ha).[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Forrest, John (1875). Explorations in Australia. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, & Searle. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Bissenberger's mine". The Western Australian Goldfields Courier. Coolgardie, WA. 22 December 1894. p. 3. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  3. ^ "The Mount Margaret Fields". The Daily News. Perth, WA. p. 3. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Mining". The Sun. Kalgoorlie, WA. 9 November 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  5. ^ ".Westralia Mount Morgan Gold Mines". The Western Australian Goldfields Courier. Coolgardie, WA. 4 September 1897. p. 24. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  6. ^ "A new township". Norseman Times. 15 March 1899. p. 2. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  7. ^ "The North Country - Mines and Townships Described - Part iv". Coolgardie Miner. 18 April 1899. p. 6. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Mining News". Coolgardie Pioneer. 21 January 1899. p. 29. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  9. ^ "The North Country - Mines and Townships Described - Part iii". Coolgardie Miner. 19 April 1899. p. 6. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  10. ^ Rowe, James Henry (17 July 1899). "Plan of Mt Morgans Townsite, Mt Margaret Goldfield". State Records Office of WA. Perth, WA: Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Newsy". Laverton and Beria Mercury. Laverton, WA. 6 January 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  12. ^ "A region of promise". Western Mail. Perth, WA. 21 October 1899. p. 36. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  13. ^ North Eastern goldfields: from Kookynie to Laverton. Perth, WA: Morning Herald. 1903.