Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Former Minister for Environment; Heritage

    Early settler cottage State heritage listed

    24/06/2016 8:00 AM
    • One of WA's oldest residences is State heritage listed
    • The 1836 Northam farm cottage now operates as a museum 

    One of Western Australia's oldest surviving colonial residences, Morby Farm Cottage in Northam, has been celebrated by its inclusion in the State Register of Heritage Places.


    Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said Morby Farm Cottage was an important heritage site because it was built in 1836 by John Morrell, the first European to settle in Northam in 1832.


    "Morrell was a carpenter who had high ambitions to become a farmer in the new colony that had only been settled a year before he left England," Mr Jacob said.


    "The life of the Morrell family and the journey they took to Western Australia with their possessions, cattle and farm equipment, and their dreams of setting up a new life is a rich colonial story."


    John Morrell built the farmhouse using locally sourced materials, but the doors and window frames and panes travelled with him by ship, on his long and arduous journey from England.


    The cottage was crucial to the early colonial life in Northam, serving as the town's first church, school, courthouse, and retail and postal outlet.


    "The characters who established this farming property, John and Frederick Morrell and William and Peter Chidlow, underpin the founding story of this region," the Minister said.


    "For early colonists, the productive farming land in the Northam district provided exciting agricultural prospects, but it was difficult establishing settlements so far from the Swan River colony.  Morby Cottage became central to the expanding district's needs."


    John Morrell died in 1843 from pneumonia after rescuing a drowning man in the Avon River.  A memorial was erected on his grave site in 1929 and is entered in the State Register as John Morrell's Grave.


    Morby Farm Cottage has been owned and managed by the Shire of Northam since 1978 and now operates as a museum, which is open to the public each Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm.


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 5800


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