The site of one of Western Australia’s most productive gold mining areas outside Kalgoorlie has been added to the State Register of Heritage Places.
The Gwalia Museum Group, which lies near Leonora about 235km north of Kalgoorlie, is a collection of buildings dating back to gold mine operations which began in 1898.
Heritage Minister Francis Logan said the buildings were valuable pieces of history, especially for the gold mining industry during the gold mining boom.
The Minister said the Gwalia Museum Group comprised the mine manager’s house, the mine office and the assay building. It also included the timber headframe and winder (the system used for hauling ore to the surface) that was used at the Sons of Gwalia mine until it closed in December 1963.
“The 1912 Fraser and Chalmers winder is of particular interest as it was the biggest steam-powered winding machine in Australia, and one of only three that are still surviving,” Mr Logan said.
“It was a technological achievement of the period.”
The headframe is considered a landmark by the towns of Gwalia and Leonara.
Mr Logan also acknowledged the association of the site with Herbert Hoover, the former President of the United States of America.
“Herbert Hoover was appointed as Superintendent of the Sons of Gwalia mine in March 1898, and he established it as a profitable and efficient operation,” he said.
“He employed about 500 men, including a number of Italian and Austrian migrants, and arranged the construction of many buildings at Gwalia.”
Other interim heritage listings this week include the Newmarket Hotel in Hamilton Hill, the Government Quarries in Boya (near Mundaring) and the State Battery at Sandstone.
The interim listings are open for public comment until November 4, 2005.
"The Gallop Government is committed to protecting and enhancing WA's unique lifestyle, including significant heritage sites," Mr Logan said.
Minister's office: 9222 8950