Stock Route Submission from IDHS
Place 25092 North West Stock Route Draft Assessment: Submission from Irwin Districts Historical Society to Heritage Council of Western Australia, November 2022.
This attachment consists of a number of general comments, followed by detailed comments responding to specific sections with the draft documentation.
The IDHS also supplied images as part of the submission, and these can be downloaded here.
1. Name of Place – summary: The name should be Coastal Stock Route, or Old North Road.
The place is generally referred to locally today as the coastal or overland stock route or old north road, and there is a local awareness of the route through the Irwin shire, especially the more significant water holes and wells. Historically, the route was probably at its peak usage from the 1850s to the 1910s, and there is evidence of distinctions being made between this stock route and those to which it connected to the north-east of Dongara.
In 1886 was referred to as the ‘overland coast road’ that lead southwards from Yardarino (‘Irwin District Road Board’, Victorian Express, 28 August 1886: 5). In 1888 William Cream, reporting on the routes for taking stock from the Upper Gascoyne to Perth, clearly distinguished between the routes north and south of the Irwin River. He wrote that south of the Irwin, the route was ‘very bad and hard to get along’, with water hard to find, after it took nearly a month to move 900 sheep. This contrasted with the ready availability of water from natural pools and feed north of the Irwin, and he concluded it was better to ship northern stock from Geraldton than attempt the sandplain crossing (‘Travelling Stock’, West Australian, 31 May 1888: 3). A prospectus for the Northern Slaughtering Co Ltd., of which Dongara merchant Francis Pearse was a director, was formed to supply cheaper meat to the Perth market and lobby the government to formalise the coastal route by investing in sinking wells for water (‘Prospectus’, Victorian Express, 2 July 1887: 4). The lack of water clearly distinguished the ‘coast road’ from the northern inland routes.
This distinction was emphasised in 1893-1894 when the Northern Association was formed by pastoral interests. The dividing line between north and south was a matter of some contention, eventually resulting in the Irwin and Greenough being excluded from the Association for being too ‘southern’ and likely to propagate southern agricultural interests at the expense of northern pastoralists. They considered the coastal stock route to be in the south, and a separate place from the northern stock routes then being developed. The Association was formed in the wake of the report from an 1894 parliamentary select committee on Perth’s meat supply, which recommended the government construct and maintain wells and stock routes, and predicted Mingenew would become the major link between northern stock routes and the Midland railway, with central abattoirs at Midland Junction. Large numbers of stock continued to travel down the Coastal Stock Route for a while, such as in August 1897 when 2,200 sheep and then 138 steers passed through Yardanogo from Roebourne on their way to Guildford (West Australian 27 August 1897). However, in 1904 Dalgety & Co began holding monthly stock sales in Mingenew because of its convenience as a depot for stock from the North-West and Murchison (Geraldton Express, 22 January 1904). Shipment by train from Mingenew to Midland Junction and Fremantle quickly began to replace droving the Coast Stock Route. Between July 1907 and June 1908 nearly 92,000 head of stock (mostly sheep, but also cattle and pigs) were carried from Mingenew through Midland Junction on the Midland railway, and by 1908 a public campaign for building a State abattoir in Midland Junction to process stock coming from Mingenew was well underway (West Australian, 5 December 1908). Mingenew became the ‘entraining depot’ for stock from the North-West. Neither Mingenew nor the Coastal Stock Route nor the Midland railway were considered to be in the north-west, and the draft name is both confusing and lacking historical authenticity.
Page 21, 4th para, states that from 1894 the route was colloquially known as the North West Stock Route as it no longer ended at Geraldton. The source is a 1933 newspaper report [footnote 78] about closing the route at Wanneroo, which is not contemporary with its main period of use as a stock route (1850s-1910s). The same paragraph notes that officially the route was referred to as the Coastal Stock Route or the Wanneroo Stock Route, and unofficially as the Old Coast Road, Old Perth Road or Old North Road depending on the location of the person using the name. North West Stock Route is not one of the historic or contemporary names being cited in 1933, let alone earlier than that date.
The origin of the term North West Stock Route seems to be much more recent, and looking at the citations in the draft entry documentation has little or no historical provenance. The key reference to this more recent naming is Gemma Wilson, Archaeological Material along North West Stock Route Report, 1991. Other references in the draft entry documentation make a clear distinction between a coastal route and northern/inland routes. Some examples are Footnote 15: M Connor & M Gibbs, Historic Water Holes Survey: The Old North Road – Wanneroo to Walkaway stock route, Western Australia, NTWA 1994; and Footnote 33: D Gratte, A Ride into History: The story of a cattle drove down the Coastal Stock Route, Western Australia, as a bicentennial event, Main Holdings 1988. The rest of this submission used the name ‘Coastal Stock Route’.
2. Curtilage: summary – the proposed curtilage could be extended to include a number of associated places that will support the significance of the place. These are itemised below. Wells and waterholes
Generally the proposed curtilage includes the wells and waterholes, but there are some exceptions. Arrowsmith Lake appears to be only partially within the curtilage, and should be completely within the curtilage. This needs to be checked.
Generally the known burial sites of along the Coastal Stock Route are included within the proposed curtilage. Consideration should be given to confirming whether the burial site of Anthomny Cain (see page 11) is within the registered place.
Irwin River Crossings and Yardarino Common
There is some confusion in the draft documentation that conflates Yardarino Crossing and Milo Crossing, and in doing so obscures the 18501880s period when the Coastal Stock Route crossed the Yardarino Common. This route (now Criddle Road-Short Street-School Road) connected with Piggery Lane as it continued northwards. The details are set out in the detailed comments, and with suggested additions to the curtilage to include this ‘Yardarino Section’ of the coastal stock route.
- Impact of opening of Midland Railway line in 1894: summary – the railway gradually removed the need for the Coastal Stock Route, and this could be referred to in the documentation.
The stock routes leading from the Pilbara and KImberley to Mingenew after 1894 meant the town developed as a railhead for shipping stock southwards. This became even more prominent after the opening of Midland saleyards in 1911, and abattoirs in 1914, both serviced by the Midland railway, and the centralisation of meat processing and distribution in Midland Junction. It was around this time (1910s) that the Coastal Stock Route fell into disuse for travelling stock – this decline is linked to the development of the railway and of major meat works in Midland, and could be referenced in the documentation.
- Inclusion of women in the Stock Route stories: summary – the histories in the documentation are overwhelmingly dominated by men, but this can be at least partially remedied.
Three women are identified in the detailed comments: Eliza Brown (first women recorded travelling the stock route, published first detailed description of the route), Elizabeth Criddle (early colonist who travelled by the stock route, gave birth to the first colonial child along the route, and became matriarch of a very large family group in the region) and Lady Mary Barker (Vicereine, made a best-selling detailed record of travelling the route in the 1880s, significant as an early female journalist, advocate of professionalised housework and cookery book writer). Including these three women in the histories and assessments will help to reduce the masculine dominance of the narrative, but including more women needs to be made a research priority. A more recent example would be the several women who participated in the 1988 bicentennial drove along the coastal stock route. See detailed comments on pages 7-9, 15-16.
- Commons and commonage systems: summary – the Coastal Stock Route demonstrates the development of a unique colonial combination of commonage and travelling stock systems that informed the development of all later stock routes. The detail of this development is set out in the detailed comments on pages 9-11.
- Beekeeping and apiary history: summary – the Coastal Stock Route, after the end of its use for travelling stock, became a significant site in the development of the commercial beekeeping and honey industry in WA.
The detail of this development is set out in the detailed comments on page 13.
- Botanical and ecological sciences: summary – the Coastal Stock Route, as its use for travelling stock was coming to an end, became an important site in the development of scientific nature conservation through Crown reserves. Some detail of this development is set out in the detailed comments on pages 12 and 15.
- Aesthetic values – land shapes: summary – the shapes of the waterhole/well Crown Reserves along the Coastal Stock Route tend to have a distinctive aesthetic character, which should be in the assessments.
The reserve shapes are characterised by having the waterhole or well on or very close to the reserve boundary, with the majority of the reserve area taken up with dense thickets and seasonal wetlands (often called ‘swampy flats’ in surveyor’s field books) closer to the waterhole/well, and kwongan on sandplain beyond the wetlands that merge into the landscape outside the reserve. The reserves are also often irregularly shaped, with angled sides and splayed corners, rather than the more usual rectangular or square shape of utilitarian reserves. The Coastal Stock Route generally aligns with the boundary on the waterhole/well side of the reserve. As physical shapes within landscapes these reserves are generally only visually revealed or evident if adjoining land has been cleared for agriculture or other purposes, but they are easily recognisable in cadastral maps. Presumably the purpose of the odd shapes is to indicate topographical distinctions in the generally flattish landscapes to assist drovers to use those topographic nuances to help herd stock between watering points and grazing areas.
- Aesthetic values – wildness: summary – the wild beauty of the sandplains and breakaways traversed by the Coastal Stock Route, and experienced by drovers and travellers, is underplayed in the documentation. These values are partly explored on pages 14-16.
|2: Name||Prefer Coastal Stock Route or Old North Road – more descriptive of actual route, more evidence of historical usages, better expression of significance, and avoid misattribution of the place’s location with the North West region (Gascoyne/Pilbara)||See General Comments|
|3: Location||The route being assessed ends at Allanooka Swamp, Allanooka (not Arrowsmith Swamp)||Correct the reference to the northern terminal of the nominated route|
|6: Current owners||‘Responsible Agency’ should include Shire of Irwin||Include Shire of Irwin|
|10: Statement of Significance||Revise after considering comments, and also to consider the Menck themes.|
|11(f) aesthetic characteristics||Could be a bit more engaging – Irwin and Moore valleys and the ranges, moorlands and breakaways that frame the sandplain||See comments on pp 14-15|
|11(g) special associations||Include George Grey; James Drummond the botanist; Elizabeth Criddl; Eliza Brown; Lady Barker|
|11(b) endangered aspects||Could include some assessment of the value of the condition of the chain of waterholes & wetlands as a baseline for studies and analyses of the changing condition of underground water bodies and aquifers over time in the northern Perth Basin (Stirling’s Great Plain of Quartania).||For extent of Quartania see ‘Convict Labour’, Inquirer, 26 May 1847: 3|
|12.3 Authenticity||The assessment implies that water quality and water levels in swamps and waterholes is in long term decline.||Revise statement to indicate that, in most locations, water levels and quality, and character of adjacent vegetation, varies with the seasons.|
|13.1 Colonial exploration pp12-13||Reference to local Aboriginal group guiding Grey along pathways, fords and water sources – reference for this? Paths mentioned by Grey, Gregory’s, etc could be marked on a map||Provide citations|
|13.1 Colonial Exploration …||Pages 12-13, para crossing from page to page – Grey also mentions in his journals sometimes following native paths, especially between the Murchison and Irwin rivers. The potential for some of these paths, or path networks of which they were a part, to form the basis for Coastal Stock Route could be flagged here, especially between Yardarino and Allanooka. Native paths are referred to in this section, but more attention needs to be given to their potential for being re-used by the colonists and, in some cases, enlarged into colonial roads or tracks. Bain notes in Ancient Landmarks (pp58-59) that Aboriginal guides lead the Gregory’s in September 1850 from Dandaragan? to the Irwin River||Note this is an area for future research. Note that Nannup & Robertson, Aboriginal Journey Ways: How ancient trails shaped our roads, ECU/MRWA 2022, does not mention this route – but this may be because it only refers to Aboriginal routes paralleling current MRWA highways – in this case Brand Highway and Indian Ocean Drive|
|and then on to Ngarlingue Spring and Wondado Spring, both in the vicinity of Allanooka, which suggests they followed established wajjoo (paths).|
|Page 13, 2nd para, states that when Grey traversed the area it was the end of a hot summer after a previous drought, implying that the countryside appeared dry and barren – but then quotes Grey’s lyrical description of a ‘rich province’. April is generally the change of season from the hot summer to the cooler and wetter autumn (Noongar season of djerun, changing from hot to cool weather), which is suggested by the quote from Grey. Grey’s inability to find more than subsistence foodstuffs and water is more a reflection on his abilities than the natural capacity of the country, and it doesn’t make sense to link the paragraph and the quote (they are paradoxical).||Suggest re-writing this paragraph to better support the quote.|
|Page 13, footnote 18, states that Grey’s route, presumably including some native paths, became the Perth to Champion Bay route – this is a historically significant basis for the stock route, and should be in the main text rather than a footnote.||Integrate footnote into main text.|
|13.1 Pastoralism …||Page 15, 1st para – the September 1850 overlanding of stock seems to refer to the series of treks undertaken by Hamersley & Co, colloquially known as the Cattle Company. Sr Mary Albertus Bain describes the treks in some detail in Ancient Landmarks. This is a foundational event in the regional history of the Victoria District and the local histories of the Irwin and Greenough districts, and therefore the creation of an increasing demand for a stock route to Perth. A significant factor behind the treks, and establishment of pastoral leases, was the demand that would arise for supplying beef to the new Convict Establishment, and for which the Cattle Co had obtained contracts that would make the whole new pastoral enterprise viable. The commencement of convict transportation stimulated economic activities that, among other||Need more explicit reference to overland crossings by Cattle Co in 1850-52, and to role of the convict system in creating a demand for the stock route.|
|things, created the need for the stock route. In this sense, the establishment of the Coastal Stock Route and the invasion and colonisation of the Victoria District (Greenough and Irwin river valleys) is an artefact of convictism, and it would be useful to consider this in the draft assessments – probably criterion a.|
|13.1 Pastoralism …||Page 15, 3rd para – this description of the terrain could be improved by using some of the local topographical terminology, especially sandplain and kwongan vegetation for the ‘western’ side and the breakaways for the ‘eastern’ side. These terms were developed in the place by people inhabiting the place, and are an important part of its cultural character. Breakaways, sandplain and kwongan in particular are nouns with a clear Westralian English etymology. Kwongan is a noun adapted from a Noongar word for the heath or moorland vegetation of the place, and has a long history of colonial usage reflected in older spellings such as quongan and gwongan. The breakaways is a noun referring to the laterite-capped eroded escarpment edges of the Yilgarn Craton that mark the eastern edge of the northern sandplain. Inclusion of such terminology in the documentation would enhance understandings of the cultural history and character of the stock route.||Suggest rewriting this paragraph to better reflect the cultural topography. For the Westralian English etymologies of kwongan, breakaways and sandplain, see Words from the West: A glossary of Western Australian terms, Australian National Dictionary Centre/OUP 1994; Australian Oxford Dictionary, Second edition, 2004; Macquarie Dictionary, Sixth edition, 2005 and A Nyoongar Wordlist, WA Museum, 2011 edition. For more on the landscape-shaping effect of the Yilgarn Craton see Victoria Laurie: 5.|
|13.1 Padbury …||Page 18, 2nd para – correct ‘de Borlay’ to ‘du Boulay’||Correct text|
|13.1 Formal … road||Page 19, 1st para, re: commonly known name – see discussion on page 1 of this attachment|
|13.1 formal … road||Pages 19-20, connecting para – all the named individuals in the draft assessment are men. It is at this point that there is an opportunity to include the women of the place. Key individuals include Eliza Brown, the first woman recorded to have traversed the route. Her written observations were published in the colonial press and are likely to have played a significant role in drawing attention to the route, helping travellers plan their journeys and attracting new colonists to the region.||See Bain, Ancient Landmarks, pp 101-103, 146, and Chapter 5 passim; also Roy Criddle, William and Elizabeth Criddle: Alternatives at Swan River, Educant, Cloverdale 2002: Chapter 13 passim|
|There is a significant group of women, the wives who with their children accompanied their husbands on the Cattle Co’s 1851 trek. Marshall Clifton referred to the women in the Perth Gazette, 5 March 1852, when he visited Irwin House: The ticket of leave men employed here were conducting themselves with propriety, and the comfort of having women, the wives of men belonging to the establishment was manifest. We felt the advantage of it, as they washed our linen; and altogether, we were strongly impressed with the idea of the good management which prevailed, and the kind reception we met with. Their husbands were Cattle Co employees, and they are the earliest recorded colonial women to live in the Irwin and Greenough districts after travelling overland by the stock route. One of the women, Elizabeth (Betsy) Criddle, gave birth to her sixth child, Mary, at Irwin House on 1 August 1852. Mary was the first colonial child born in the region (Registration: Victoria No 1). The presence of these married women and families was integral to the attempts by the Cattle Co., especially Burges at ‘Irwin House’, to recreate the sort of tenanted gentry estate with which he was familiar in Ascendancy Ireland. This succeeded in a sense through the long and still flourishing lineages descending from these women in the region, in particular from Elizabeth Criddle, who had 213 living descendants at the time of her death in Dongara in 1909. A more recent group of women associated with the Coastal Stock Route are the women who rode the route in the 1988 bicentennial event. Organised by the Shire of Wanneroo, the key woman was Daphne Gratte, who managed all the support services for the drove, two women who supervised the riders behind the cattle, and a number of||The Old North Road – The Coastal Stock Route Cattle Drive, Wanneroo Shire Council Bicentennial Event, 1988|
|experienced horsewomen who joined the drove along the route, including Nan Broad and Julie Nunn. These references point to a much greater depth of women’s involvement with the route across its history that needs to be cited in the documentation, and made a priority for future research.|
|13.1 Formal … Gazettal …||Page 21, 1st para of sub-section – the reference in the first sentence to commonage points to the need to include some material on the role of commons and commonage systems in managing stock routes. Commonage rights are a key element to understand the early stock routes. These allowed drovers to graze moving cattle, horses and other stock on the routes. The Kings Table Common was created in 1857 straddling the road between Geraldton and Port Gregory, the first linking of travelling stock and commonage rights (possibly P8906?). A key part of the early Coastal Stock Route was the Yardarino Common, also established in 1859, straddling the Irwin River about four kilometres west of ‘Irwin House’ and containing several crossing places over the river. The Yardarino Common was the second common-andstock route set aside in the Victoria District after Kings Table. The Common was initially used by drovers and herders moving cattle and horses along the Coastal Stock Route, and later by local farmers to graze farm and domestic stock, although sheep were excluded until 1883. The Common provided a public space between the pastoral leases and freehold land in the Middle Irwin valley, which was incrementally enclosed and privatized as more intensive agriculture (grains) succeeded pastoralism, as itemized below. In 1859 a 4 ha/10 acre block (Victoria Location 70) on the southern side of the river, and in the very centre of the common, was sold to Lockier Burges (Hamersley & Co), giving Burges control of a well and a crossing on the stock route. In 1862 all of the common south of the river was||Reference: Bruce Baskerville: Creating Arcadia?, A history of nature conservation in colonial Western Australia, Hons Thesis, UWA 1992, Chapter f ‘The Common Lands of Irwin’, and Appendix C ‘List of commons and parks to 1890’ Deposited Plan 231555 Government Gazette 15 September 1857 Government Gazette 17 October 1889: 612 ‘Irwin Road Board’, Victorian Express, 13 November 1886: 5 See Figures 1, 2 and 3 for maps to help understand this sequence of events.|
|opened to selection for tillage leases (for farming), and the land was sold in two large lots to merchant and speculator George Shenton (Victoria Location 429 of 210 ha/520 acres) and Lockier Burges of ‘Irwin House’ (Victoria Location 430 of 64 ha/160 acres). This effectively blocked the ‘overland coast road’, as it was referred to, at this point, although Burges allowed droving to continue along the route, through his ‘horse paddock’, at his pleasure and depending on whether gates he erected were kept closed. This caused some friction with the Irwin Road Board, which had to pay for erecting a wire fence across Burges’ land to the crossing after it complained to Burges in 1886 about the ‘inconvenience to travellers’ his controls were causing. This first large enclosure of the common forced the development of other crossings such as the present-day Milo Crossing (also controlled by Burges, who acquired Victoria Location 556 adjoining the Crossing in 1867). Some smaller areas were enclosed on the northern part of the common over the years until 1900 when the remaining common land was sold off to ‘Irwin House’ and ‘The Grange’, leaving only some small school (P1245) and cemetery reserves and the public roads, or remnant stock route, in public ownership. The gazettal of the 40 chain (800 metre) wide ‘Stock Route and Commonage’ on the coastal track between Dongara and Perth in 1889 continued the practice developed at Kings Table and Yardarino of combining commonage and travelling rights, and is the earliest known example of a single reserve incorporating the two purposes, rather than a stock route reserve joining a common reserve, and functioning as one ‘unit’. This combination indicates one of the conceptual origins of colonial travelling stock routes in the provision of common resources such as water and feed for privately-owned stock, and providing a right of way for drovers and travellers, while allowing the Crown to retain||‘Irwin Road Board’, Victorian Express, 28 August 1886|
|ownership of the land as a public resource that could accommodate future changes of use. This was in accordance with Premier Forrest’s developing commons policy set out in 1880 and updated in a parliamentary debate in 1895. The Coastal Stock Route was the site of this development, which might be called ‘travelling commonage’, which was then utilised in the later stock routes to the north of Mingenew from the 1890s onwards.|
|13.1 Formal Gazettal …||Page 21, 2nd block quote (from de Burgh) – refers to a westerly branch track from Yardanogo or the Eight Mile into Denison Common – this track partly survives in the landscape as a public road running westwards off Hunt Farm Road, named variously Pye Road and Kailis Drive (part), and a small part of Denison Common (Crown Reserve 137) also survives (traversed by Kailis Drive). Denison Common, at the time of the quote, was larger and included several coastal wells and a camping site around White Point. The larger part of the common was opened for enclosure in 1903, but there were no sales and in 1956 this area was incorporated into the new Beekeepers Flora Reserve. This area provided a camping and rest area and a connection to Port Denison, possibly for shipping stock by sea that was superseded by the arrival of the railway. The surviving part of Denison Common (Crown Reserve 137) and Kailis Drive (between Brand Highway and the Common boundary) and Pye Road, or parts of them, could be considered for inclusion with the curtilage for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage||Consider possible curtilage extension, and adjust curtilage map See Figure 9 for image of the Pye Road branch of the stock route|
|13.1 Formal Gazettal …||Page 21, 1st para – include reference in this section over pp20-21 to the many deaths recorded on the stock route. Two examples are James Lyons Cook, convict 2954, labourer for George Hamersley at Irwin, died at Stockyard Gully while walking to Perth in March 1886, remains discovered by drover Harry Bower, recovered from the cave and buried||Include this information in the documentation, ensure curtilage includes the two burial sites of Cook and Cain, consider reference in assessment of criteria e and/or g .|
|near the cave entrance; and Anthony Cain, convict 2618, lost in the bush while walking the route, remains found in Weelawadgi Cave near Woodada Well, buried at Woodada Well 26 January 1897. Other examples, with less detail, are William Williams, convict 388, remains found in bush at Nancagedo? 25 miles south of Dongara in 24 January 1868, buried on the site and his flock recovered; and William Muscroft, convict 4402, who died after being run over by his wagon loaded with sandalwood at the Irwin House springs 31 January 1878; possibly Richard French, convict 1799, killed in an accident at Milo with a team of bullocks 5 October 1868 (Muscroft and French are buried in Dongara Cemetery).||These deaths indicate the dangers of travelling the stock route, especially alone and in summer when well and waterhole levels were low and the heat was intense. Lady Barker’s descriptions indicate how easy it would be for those with little knowledge to stray from the route and get lost.|
|13.1 Decline||Page 24 – between 1st and 2nd paragraphs, insert a heading, Transition to nature conservation begins. The gazettal of the Yanchep reserve in 1905 is the beginning of the reservation of parts of the stock route and then other areas of the sandplain for flora and fauna protection (nature conservation). Forrest’s ‘travelling commons’ policy facilitated this transition, and restricted the wholesale clearing of the kwongan when the post-World War Two development of sandplain farming from the 1950s onwards began around Eneabba, Warradargee and Dandaragan. Parts of the Coastal Stock Route and the wells formed the basis for a conservation estate on the sandplain. The Northern Sandplains and kwongan are is now recognised as part of a ‘global biodiversity hotspot’. Criteria b (rarity)||Reference: Victoria Laurie, The Southwest: Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspot, UWA Publishing, Crawley 2015: 2, 177-196, 197-203 Val Carter, A Piece of Good Land, Vivid, Fremantle 2017 (re Dandaragan land clearing and settlement)|
|13.1 Decline||Page 24, last paragraph – this paragraph should be expanded to reference the foundation of numerous small hamlets on the coast, initially by farmers as summer retreats and later by commercial fishers as seasonal settlements. Some, in turn, became coastal towns such as Greenhead, Leeman, Cervantes, and so on. Generally, these sites were initially accessed by east-west tracks that intersected the Coastal Stock||Some references: PR Heydon, Westward to the Sea: reminiscences and history of Carnamah District, Carnamah 1988, Chapter 10 passim; Howard Gray, The Western Rock Lobster: A|
|Route, often at wells or waterholes, or directly from the sea, but in either case the presence of stock route waterholes and wells facilitated the settlement of this ‘Sandplain Coast’ region.||History of the Fishery, Book 2, Westralian Books, Geraldton 1999: 85-234|
|13.1 Revival||Page 25, 1st paragraph – the brief reference to apiarists should be expanded, although the lack of published histories is acknowledged. The expansion of commercial beekeeping with the introduction of the Bees Act 1930, which controlled the movement of hives between districts, and the Beekeepers Act 1963, was significant for providing access, via the old Coastal Stock Route, to registered apiarist sites adjacent to wells and waterholes in areas of high floral diversity. Winter beekeeping began on the sandplain in the early 1950s during the non-flowering period of jarrah, karri and marri in the south-west. The beekeeping industry lobbied for the creation of Beekeeper’s Flora Reserve (Crown Reserve 24496) in 1956, which incorporated the southern part of Denison Common (Crown Reserve 137). The Beekeepers Advisory Committee licensed beekeepers in the reserve, and some of the sandplain roads than now traverse the old stock route are named after pioneer beekeepers, such as Skippers Road (named for Leonard Skipper, one of the original trustees of WA Co-operative Beekeepers (Wescobee) and secretary of the Westralian Beekeepers Association), and Beekeepers Road. The old Coastal Stock Route, Beekeepers Reserve and the sandplain generally have historically been key sites in the development of the post-World War Two commercial honey industry in WA.||Include some assessment of the significance of the stock route in the mid-late twentieth century development of the beekeeping and honey industry – criteria a and e. Some references Farmers Weekly, 21 May 1953 Daily News, 25 May 1953|
|13.1 Revival||Page 26, final paragraph of section – include a reference to specific conservation reserves, including Yardanogo Nature Reserve and Beekeeper’s Nature Reserve, both of which retain physical elements of the coastal stock route|
|13.2 Physical evidence||Page 27, 2nd paragraph, replace final sentence with more detailed descriptions, such as “The landscape in these areas gradually becomes drier as it crosses the sandplain. On reaching the Irwin River it drops down through openings in the low breakaways at the Yardarino and Milo crossings. The northern section of the route crossed the alluvial river valley and a braid of old billabongs and river flats around ‘Irwin House’ and the former Yardarino Common (see Figure 6), and then rose from the river valley through undulating low breakaways and sandplains of the Victoria Range about 100-150 metres above sea level until finally reaching the great Allanooka springs and wetlands in a deep basin in the breakaways easterly of Mt Hill.” There is also a good, evocative description of the route south of Dongara in the mid-1880s penned by Lady Barker, later Lady Broome: After [leaving Dongara] we entered upon the great “sand plains” as they are called … and makes a narrow belt, less than 70 miles across. There is no way of escaping it, and all that the Government have been able to do is to dig a well and fence it in, and put rude hollow tree troughs for the sheep and cattle to drink at, wherever they could find water. … every here and there, some 10 or 12 miles apart, perhaps, is a little copse or thicket, like an oasis, of an acre or two, where the shepherd can camp and make his fire and let his sheep rest and feed a little. But it must be very anxious work travelling with stock across here, and no one does it who can go by any other route. We indulged in many speculations as to the change the railway will create some day in the near future.||Victoria Range is a place name, presumably derived from Victoria District, that referred to the breakaway country between Dongara and Northampton, and was sometimes described as the northern extension or end of the Darling Range – see for an example Western Mail 22 March 1902 and ‘Prize Essay’, Tambellup Times, 15 November 1913. Bain describes the topography of the Victoria Range (pp18-19). The coastal stock route traversed the Victoria Range from the Irwin River to Allanooka (and beyond to Greenough Back Flats), until the north-easterly connection from Irwin to Mingenew and the rail head in 1894 (Crown Reserve 10876) largely replaced this northern section, which could be designated the ‘Victoria Range section’. References: Lady Barker (Broome), Letters to Guy, Macmillan, London 1885: 64-65 A Faithful Picture: The letters of Eliza and Thomas Brown at York in the Swan River colony, 1841-1852: with an introduction, Letters of Eliza Brown (1896) and Thomas Brown (1863); introduction by Alexandra Hasluck; edited by Peter Cowan, Fremantle Arts Centre press, Fremantle 1977|
|13.2||Page 39, P26948 Woodada – 2nd para – perhaps amend the reference to the windmill being stolen (unless there is some evidence of theft) to|
|something more descriptive, such as “the windmill was removed as a landmark”.|
|13.2||Page 40, P18113 Arrowsmith lake – add to the second-last sentence further description such as “and remains a significant location for Banksia species, Geraldton Wax (Chamaelaucium uncinatum) and diverse other flora characteristic of sandplain wetlands, including the eponymous Arrowsmith Spider Orchid (Caladenia crebra).” These have attracted seasonal wildflower hunters and tourists (cultural activities) as well as botanists and ecologists since the 1950s, and including them in the descriptions will assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage. An understanding of the cultural and aesthetic significance of wildflowers along the stock route and sandplains was expressed by Lady Barker while travelling the route in 1885: At first the low bushes were scant and bare, but when we got fairly into the sand-plains the flowers began. Is that not strange? I thought of that verse in the Bible about the desert blossoming like a rose, and I felt that I knew now for the first time what it meant. Our overland journey had been so timed that we should cross it when the wild flowers were out. And it was certainly the most wonderful sight you can imagine. … before we started people used to say “And then you will see our wild flowers”, and I used carelessly to answer “Shall I?” … the quantity was so bewildering. One would come to a patch of heavenly blue flower, the most beautiful bright blue you ever saw, and that patch would stretch away all around you as far as your eye could reach, for miles and miles, only broken here and there, perhaps, with tufts of tall crimson flowers [Verticordia||Ref: Terry Domico, ‘The Importance of Protecting Remnant Vegetation’, The Sea Lion, Vol 1, No 8, Summer 2021/22: 10 Reference: Lady Barker (Broome), Letters to Guy, Macmillan, London 1885: 68-69 Include as historical description that can still be matched by contemporary description (although now with different cultural allusions – see for example Victoria Laurie), and assess under criteria a and f.|
|grandis?]or a huge patch of pink everlastings and clumps of feathery gray “smoke plant”. … the profound silence, and then this brilliant world of flowers stretching round about – made one feel as if it were all a dream. On and on we slowly crept, noiselessly ploughing through the sand. We were all so taken up gazing at the flowers that except an occasional “Oh!” of delight no one spoke hardly. Lady Barker’s description of the wildflowers indicates the cultural value they and the sandplain had already attainted by the 1880s as symbols of Westralian identity, their aesthetic values in terms of bright colours and expansive swathes, their visual beauty in quiet settings, and their role as metaphors for divinely-ordained colonisation as ‘roses blooming in the desert’.|
|13.2||Page 41, P18114 Yardanogo (Sixteen Mile Swamp) – add further description – the place was described in 1889 as a ‘swampy flat, thickly timbered with flooded gum, paperbark and casuarina, surrounded by thick banksia scrub’, with the well on the eastern boundary of the freehold block (Victoria Location 1708). The Coastal Stock Route runs along the eastern boundary of VL1708. The National Trust holds a covenant over the land title. The surrounding Crown Reserve 36203 (Yardanogo Nature Reserve) was gazetted for nature conservation in 1979, and also contains Road Board Well, another Coastal Stock Route well. The historical and contemporary floral systems have attracted seasonal wildflower hunters, tourists and beekeepers (cultural activities) as well as botanists and ecologists since the 1950s, and including them in the descriptions will assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.||Ref: CT 1708/251677; DP 251677 August 1889|
|13.2||Page 41, P18121 Eight Mile Well – the arum lilies indicate the likely presence of a former semi-permanent camp site.||The presence of arum lilies at many of the waterholes/wells/camp sites, as identified in|
|The lilies also point to another aspect of the route’s history not covered in the documentation – the occupation of various sites by hermits. Lady Barker noted one example in 1885 at ‘Tipper’s Thicket’, a camping site on the stock route about 15 miles south of Dongara (i.e. Yardanogo?): Tipper had been a shepherd of a rather solitary turn of mind, who had built himself a comfortable hut here and lived all alone, but delighted to entertain any stray passers-by. Poor Tipper had, however, been cruelly murdered some years ago by natives for the sake of his blankets and bottle of rum. No one missed Tipper, and it was not till some returning overland traveller thought it surprising he should not be about his hut, that poor Tipper’s bones were sought. It is said no shepherd will camp here by night, and even natives avoid the spot after dark. One could quite understand choosing this spot to settle in if one wished for solitude, it was so very pretty. Our informant had himself known poor Tipper, and said he made himself very comfortable in a Robinson Crusoe sort of fashion. Tipper may be Thomas Tipper, convict 5105, a shepherd whose death ‘supposed to be consumption’ was recorded at Dongara on 11 December 1868 – the informant was his employer Thomas Whitfield who held leases in the vicinity of the stock route. Whether that is so, legends of solitary hermits and eccentrics living along the stock route had currency by the 1880s, and still do today. They are an element of local and regional folklore that has social value for sandplain and coastal communities that may be assessable under criterion e.||the descriptions, should be noted as a likely indicator of deliberate marking of such camp sites by drovers or travellers – arum lilies are highly visible, are not native to the sandplain, and would not survive far from damp land, which would make them an ideal seasonal marker of sites. Arum bulbs would have to have been taken to these sites for a reason. They should be assessed under criterion c and possibly criterion d. See Figure 8 for images of the Eight Mile wetlands. Lady Barker: 71-72 Dictionary of Western Australians, UWAP Nedlands 1979, Vols 2 and 3, ‘Tipper’ Death Certificate, IDHS Collections|
|13.2||Page 42, P18115 –Yardarino Crossing and Milo Crossing are treated as synonyms in the documentation. This is incorrect – the name is Milo Crossing. Yardarino Crossing is another location on the former||1969 date – IRME1923, 1924, 1927|
|Yardarino Common, referring to the length of river between Criddle Road and Burges’ Location 70 – see comment at Map 16 for detail. The statement that the inland road from New Norcia crossed at this Milo Crossing is also incorrect. That crossing was further eastwards at Pascoe’s Milo Inn at Mondarra (now the junction of Milo Road and Warradong Spring Road). The present Milo Crossing was first constructed as a stone crossing in 1910, in place of both Yardarino Crossing (gradually closed from 1861 with the enclosure of the south side of the common, and especially after 1900 with the enclosure of the rest of the common) and the Milo Inn crossing (effectively closed with the opening of a road through Milo Common – now Milo Road west – in 1886). The name ‘Milo Crossing’ was transferred here through folk usages, either from the original Milo Inn Crossing site, or/and the Milo Common between the two sites, around 1910. The building of a stone crossing in 1910 suggests that on this part of the Coastal Stock Route road traffic (horses, carts, wagons, pedestrians) had replaced travelling stock, which instead was using Crown Reserve 10876 to the Mingenew railhead. The stone crossing was replaced by a timber bridge in 1946, in turn replaced by the present concrete crossing structure in 1969.|
|13.2||Page 43, P18116 Allanooka Swamp – add further description: “remains a significant location for Geraldton Wax (Chamaelaucium uncinatum) and diverse other flora characteristic of sandplain wetlands, including several orchid species (Caladenia spp).” These have attracted seasonal wildflower hunters, tourists and beekeepers (cultural activities) as well as botanists and ecologists since the 1950s, and including them in the descriptions will assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage. It can also be noted that the large wetland was for many years locally know simply as ‘the swamp’. Its correct name is Ngarlingue, referring to|
|the black ducks for which it was well know, while Allanooka (dog/dingo hill) refers to the hill. The name Hunting Kangaroo Arms, the wayside inn operated for many years by Juan Perejuan, a former lay brother from New Norcia who married a local woman, is another of the local place names that illustrate the natural abundance of this site, which made it such an important stopping place on the Coastal Stock Route, before water mining began in the late 1950s to provide reticulated water schemes for Geraldton and Dongara.|
|13.3||Page 44 Themes – replace the old Heritage Council themes with the new Menck Themes – we suggest Environment; People – Colonisation; Economy – Rural Occupations; Infrastructure – Transport & Communications; and Integrated Stories – Aboriginal People, Women and Isolation.||Change to Menck Themes|
|13.3||Pages 44-45 Comparative Analysis: the four identified comparators indicate that, together with the Coastal Stock Route, they form a distinct class of places (criterion d). The waterholes/wells, and pastoral uses, are part of the characteristics of such a class of places, as are their very long lengths connecting diverse locales and regions, their typically northerly-southerly alignments indicating the centrality of the Perth metropolitan markets for meat processing and sales since the late colonial period, and the transportation of cultural artefacts such as bulky building materials and exotic plants (e.g. arum lilies) to establish semi-permanent camp sites along the routes. The Coastal Stock Route is a predecessor to P5518, P5113 and P26456, and contemporary with P8906, making it significant in demonstrating historical patterns (criterion a), as representative of its class (criterion d) and for its distinctive aesthetic character as a long linear element spanning a partly rural, partly natural environment (criterion f)||Review the comparative analysis after considering comments|
|13.5||Further research – four additional areas that could be included are (1) the historical alternatives (such as Yardarino Common) and turn-offs (such as Denison Common) along the route, (2) the route following Aboriginal pathways, and intersecting with other pathways at waterholes, (3) increasing the inclusion of women in the histories of the place, and (4) the thick layer of Aboriginal place names along the route that provide evocative insights into the landscapes and character of the route and its environs before the large-scale land clearing of the 20th century – just some examples are Yardanogo (sand plain gum camp), Yardarino (place of many camps – i.e. a village) and Milo (kangaroo or shady place). There are many more.|
|Map 14||The inclusion of P18113 Arrowsmith Lake in the curtilage is strongly supported. The parcel of Crown Land, which is not now a Crown Reserve (unfortunately), but was part of Crown Reserve 19219 Stock Route, and is now identified as P173982 Lot 11026, Unallocated Crown Land, appears on the curtilage map to be only partly within the proposed curtilage, with the curtilage boundary angling through the water body. The whole of Lot 11026 should be included as the whole water body and its littoral was part of the Coastal Stock Route reserve, was grazed by travelling stock, was used for camping, and still forms a single coherent wetland with evidence of the Coastal Stock Route uses. The whole of Lot 11026 should be included in the curtilage for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.||Adjust curtilage map Adjust boundary for P18113 to include all of P173982 Lot 11026|
|Map 15||Crown Reserve 10877 (8 Mile), identified on page 15 of the curtilage maps, is shown with only half the reserve (lot 12297) included in the||Adjust curtilage map|
|curtilage, the southern part of the reserve (lot 12298, south of the ‘road’, i.e. Rsv 10876, lot 12299) should also be included. The chain of swamps forming the Eight Mile that watered travelling stock continues through both parts of Reserve 10877, and should be included for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.||See Figure 8 for images of the Eight Mile wetlands as a chain of swamps The wells and waterholes are only part of the stock route watering system, as their location on the edge of or in the vicinity of larger seasonal swamps and fens, usually aligned north-south, clearly indicates. It would be useful to note this in the descriptions.|
|Map 15||Crown Reserve 31232, which has been excised from Coastal Stock Route reserve 10876, for use as a sandpit and/or gravel quarry, should be included in the curtilage for historical accuracy, and to promote rehabilitation of the landscape in a way consistent with the cultural heritage values of the curtilage once mining finishes.||Adjust curtilage map|
|Map 16||The inclusion of P18115 Milo Crossing (incorrectly labelled Yardarino Crossing) and part of Milo Road is supported as the closest approximation of the former stock route alignment connecting with Irwin House. However, the older alignment that crossed the Yardarino Common is not included, and should be for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage. This part of the original Coastal Stock Route remains evident as School Road and Short Street (land ID 3144577), Criddle Road (land ID 3144578), and School Road North (land ID 3144575). This alignment was formed during the enclosure of Yardarino Common in 1900, when numerous informal former parallel alignments that originally linked to Piggery Lane were enclosed within the new lots for sale, leaving this single formal road alignment as a consolidation of the older informal routes. This sequence of roads are the remnants of the Coastal Stock Route still||Adjust curtilage map to include the public roads with land IDs 3144577, 3144578 and 3144575 and Crown Reserve 8077. Adjust curtilage map to change label ‘Yardarino Crossing’ to ‘Milo Crossing’. Place label ‘Yardarino Crossing’ at the junction of Criddle Road (land ID 3144578) and the Irwin River. See Figure 8 for images.|
|legible in the landscape between Yardarino Crossing (at the southern end of Criddle Road) and Piggery Lane, albeit with some gaps. Crown Reserve 8077 for ‘water’ is just east of these alignments, on a bend in the Irwin River, and was reserved in 1904 (as part of the enclosure of the common) for an artesian water bore for stock water and a mooted irrigation scheme that never eventuated. All of these parcels of land should be included in the curtilage for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.|
|Map 17||The curtilage boundary shown on the plan indicates the curtilage enclosing P18116 Allanooka Swamp and P1246 Allanooka Inn or Hunting Kangaroo Arms. This is supported. The plan also indicates that the broader area of Crown Reserve 1020 ‘Water’ (gazetted 14 November 1902) is included in the proposed curtilage. There are historical descriptions of the formerly large wetlands and water body here and its use for watering travelling stock, and for irrigating orchards and vegetable gardens utilised by the Inn for providing food and meals to camping stock keepers, drovers and hunters. Including all of Crown Reserve 1020 is supported and will be essential for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.||Clarify or confirm the inclusion of Crown Reserve 1020, especially as this will form the northern termination of the curtilage.|
|Maps 18 and 19||Crown Reserve 10876, identified on pages 18 and 19 of the curtilage map as Yandanooka West Road, is still reserved as a stock route, which should be noted here (R10876, lot 12299, gazetted ). Reserve 2437 was gazetted in 1894 for travelling stock along the south bank of the Irwin River, named ‘Stock Route Irwin River to Mingenew’ (now Milo Road East). In 1907 the reserve was cancelled and replaced by Reserve 10876 from Yardanogo to Mingenew Common (now Yandanooka West Road). That finally moved the northern end of the stock route away from Yardarino and the Victoria Ranges and connected it with the||Adjust and note curtilage map Government Gazette, 19 January 1894 Government Gazette, 5 July 1907 See Figure 5 showing these changes on a map|
|saleyards and railway yards at Mingenew. This needs to be recorded for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the curtilage.|
|Maps 15, 16, 17||There are a number of unmade public roads shown within the curtilage on these maps. On-site observation shows many of these are now difficult to distinguish in the landscape, as their use has been incorporated into adjacent farming land and/or mining development areas. In some cases roads are evident, but public access is blocked with locked gates and ‘no through road’ and ‘private property’ signs (e.g. Hunts Farm Road – images provided, dated 22/3/22). However, they all remain evident in the cadastre as public roads, and presumably the private exclusions are permitted under some sort of leasing arrangements with the State. This needs to be noted in the documentation to ensure visitors do not unwittingly trespass on these parcels of land. Their inclusion within the curtilage is supported for historical accuracy and to assist with managing the cultural heritage values of the overall curtilage.||Note on curtilage map: some public roads not publicly accessible without lessee permission|
General comments: it would be useful for future land and heritage managers to include somewhere a list of the Crown Reserves and public road reserves, with their purpose and gazettal date, that are within the curtilage.