The Society acknowledges the traditional owners of the Irwin Districts, their continuing connection to land, sea and community and pays its respects to elders and their cultures, past and present.

Book Shop


We can mail a copy of any book on our publication list to any address, postage charge as per book size, available on request. In the first instance please notify us of your requirements on our contact page, and payments may be made directly to our bank account, please add your name when making your payment.

  • Account Name : Irwin Districts Historical Society
  • BSB : 036-131
  • Account Number: 510013


Fetch The Doctor: health and medicine at Irwin, 1850-1940, by Anne Jefferys, published by Anne Jefferys, Ferndale 2021 (ISBN 9780980499360).  An extensive overview of the development of medical assistance and healthcare in the Irwin district, covering the sequence of doctors, nurses and midwives who treated infectious diseases, accidents, mental health, medications, natal care and public sanitation up to the Second World War.  Introduction, Acknowledgements, References, 56 pages.
Price $20.00

Publications For Sale

Geraldton Aboriginal HistoryThe Aboriginal History of Geraldton (Jambinu)
by Stan Grate, OAM with research assistance by Dale Forsythe. ISBN 978-0-646-93340-5
The book paints an overview of life for Aboriginal people living in the Geraldton area before and after the region was settled by Europeans. The book is complemented by a free Welcome to the Yamatji Drive Trail brochure, produced by City of Greater Geraldton. 28 pages, illustrated, Price $10.00+P&P
AIRFLASH: A Guide to Coast Watch Posts in the Mid-West of Western Australia 1942-1944, Royal Australian Air Force
by Bob Sheppard
ISBN 978-0-85905-890-2, (2021, New) A5, illustrated and including maps, 47 pages, $15.00 +P&P
In early 1942 Japanese forces were advancing through Southeast Asia and there was a real concern Australia would be invaded. In a small tin shed at Island Point on the southern end of Jurien Bay in Australia's remote Mid-West, a guard and two Royal Australian Air Force wireless operators watched for enemy activity and monitored their radio. Through the static they heard a call. The three men were terrified by the radio conversation that resulted. An English speaking Japanese wireless operator aboard a submarine somewhere near Jurien Bay spoke directly to the men telling them he knew who they were, how many were at the camp and their location.
This is one of the stories collected by Bob Sheppard and is included in AIRFLASH: A Guide to Coast Watch Posts in the Mid-West of Western Australia 1942-1944, Royal Australian Air Force. Bob provides details, including the locations, of the RAAF Coast Watch Posts established between Port Gregory and Burns Beach in No. 3 of his MID-WEST AT WAR Series.
Cypress HolmeA History of Cypress Holme, Dongara, Western Australia,
by Graham Grundy, published by Graham Grundy, Dongara 2017, (ISBN 9781640079403). A history of Cypress Holme house and farm on the northern outskirts of Dongara, its remarkable inhabitants, historic gardens and restoration. Dedication, Table of Contents, Foreword, Maps, Illustrations, Index, 51 pages.
A History of Coast Watch Post 16 & Radar Station 48 at North Head, Jurien Bay 1939-1945
by Bob Sheppard
ISBN 978-0-85905-778-3, (New, 2019), A5, 24 pages, illustrated, 50 grams, $12.00+P&P
Book 1 in the Mid-West at War Series. This little known once secret unit and nearby Coast Watch Post is examined by Bob Sheppard. Produced jointly with the Dandaragan Shire
Alternatives at the Swan RiverAlternatives at the Swan River
Educant, Cloverdale 2002 (ISBN 0958053413). The story of William and Elizabeth Criddle, and the alternatives they chose in settling in colonial Western Australia, in the Avon Valley, Irwin and Greenough districts and raising a family of 14 children. Acknowledgements, Dedication, Table of Contents, Preface, Maps, Illustrations, 137 pages.

Six SonsAnd Six Sons Went to War: The Family of James and Emma Criddle,
by Roy Criddle, published by Roy Criddle, Safety Bay 2008 (ISBN 9780958053426). The story of James and Emma Criddle of the Chapman Valley and their six sons who served in the AIF during the Great War. Acknowledgements, Dedication, Table of Contents, Preface, 148 pages.
Caroline ConnectionThe Caroline Connection: Pioneers of the Irwin District,
by Elizabeth Nelson-Broad, published by Elizabeth Nelson-Broad, Dunsborough 2005. The story of three generations of women named Caroline from the 1850s to the 1940s, closely associated with Dongara landmarks Smith’s Mill and Russ Cottage. Dedication, Introduction, Acknowledgements, Bibliography, Genealogical Tables, List of Illustrations, Maps, 88 pages.
Country Roads & Byways of the Irwin District: A Historic Record
by Irwin Heritage Committee for Irwin Shire Council, Dongara 2003. Alphabetical list of street and road names throughout the Irwin Shire, with notes on origins of each name. Introduction, Acknowledgements, Project History, Table of Contents, Illustrations, 2 maps, 85 pages.
Library copy avilable only. Please ask us
Alternatives at the Swan RiverDongara Heritage Walk, by Irwin Districts Historical Society, Dongara 2020 (ISBN 9780980499339). A revised version of an earlier guided walking tour of 4 kilometres, with potted histories of significant historical buildings and places around the town of Dongara. The place numbers match numbered plaques in the town. The Guide is available from local cafés and selected shops and the Dongara Visitor Centre, as well as the Museum Bookshop. List of numbered places, Privacy note, Illustrated, Map on back cover, 35 pages.
Dongara Voices, Part of the Shire of Irwin Oral History Project, Volumes 1 and 2
Interviewer Trish Parker, 2014-2015. Note: printed transcripts of all interviews are held in the IDHS Library & Archives, and in the Shire Public Library.
Price :$10+P&P
Fetch The DoctorFetch The Doctor: health and medicine at Irwin, 1850-1940, by Anne Jefferys, published by Anne Jefferys, Ferndale 2021 (ISBN 9780980499360). An extensive overview of the development of medical assistance and healthcare in the Irwin district, covering the sequence of doctors, nurses and midwives who treated infectious diseases, accidents, mental health, medications, natal care and public sanitation up to the Second World War. Introduction, Acknowledgements, References, 56 pages.
Price $20.00
The Fisherman Who Rode a Horse: An Autobiography,
by Kenneth Watters, printed in Columbia South Carolina. Reminiscences of a life spent in the fishing industry, with a period as a research engineer in the NASA tracking stations. List of chapters, Introduction, 514 pages.
Price: $35.00+P&P
The Forked Thumb TribeThe Forked Thumb Tribe of Cookes Swamp
by Myra Wolter (Nee Sheppard0. with an introduction and
annotations by Bob Sheppard. ISBN 978-0-85905-922-0
The Forked Thumb Tribe was a group of local Aborigines based at Cookes Swamp near Dudawah. This manuscript by Myra Wolter contributes to the knowledge of these original inhabitants. 28 pages, illustrated. Price $15.00+P&P
Geraldton WaxGeraldton’s Wildflower – The Wax, by Gary Martin, published by Geraldton Regional Library, Geraldton 2011, (ISBN 9780980405552). A cultural history of the Geraldton Wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum), commonly found throughout the Irwin shire on the margins of wetlands and damplands of the sandplains and breakaways, notably Aramal and Allanooka, and a feature of local wildflower displays from late winter into summer. Introduction, Illustrations, Acknowledgements, Bibliography, 17 pages. Price$10.00YES
The GrangeThe Grange, Irwin, Western Australia: A Brief History,
by Anne Jefferys and Shirley Scotter, Irwin District Historical Society, Dongara 2013 (ISBN 9870980499315). A history of The Grange farm and estate 12 kilometres east of Dongara, from the Cattle Co leaseholds of the 1850s and the gentry Phillips family to the Dempster’s and from 1987 a succession of corporate owners. Table of Contents, Illustrated, paddock maps, list of illustrations, 72 pages.
Price: :$15.00+P&P
He Put His Hand Up: The Story of Jonas Valinskas,
by Roy Criddle, published by Roy Criddl;e, Safety Bay 2009. A biography of one of the first Lithuanian migrants to land in Australia after World War Two, who later worked worked at Woomera and Rum Jungle before joining WAPET in 1955. Acknowledgements, Dedication, Table of Contents, Preface, Illustrated, 130 pages.
Little Saints, Little Sinners: Schooldays at Dongara’s Dominican Ladies College in the early 50 through a little boarder’s eyes,
by Fran Mack (nee Knuckey), Rawlhouse Publishing, West Perth 1999 (ISBN 0958740631). Reminiscences of four years at a strict Catholic boarding school from 1950 to 1953. Table of Contents, Illustrated, 90 pages.
Mary Lindsay and the Defence of Jurien Bay 1928-1941
by Bob Sheppard
ISBN 978-0-85905-824-7, (New 2020), A5 Soft Cover, 27pp, illustrated, 60 grams, $15.00+P&P
In Book 2 in the Mid-West at War Series, Bob Sheppard explores Mrs Mary Lindsay's call for the development of Jurien Bay as a naval port as Australia faces emerging aggression from Germany and Japan.
October 4thOctober 4, 1922,
by Roy Criddle, published by Roy Criddle, Safety Bay 2011. The third in Roy Criddle’s Criddle trilogy, focused on the history of his parents and in particular his mother’s family, the Stonehouse’s of Geraldton. Acknowledgements, Dedication, Table of Contents, Prologue, Illustrations, Maps, Genealogical Tables, 279 pages.
Price $12.00+P&P
Please ask us
One Small Port Three Names A History of the Dongara Port
Compiled by the Irwin Districts Historical Society Inc.
History of the Dongara maritime industry. Printed 2009, reprinted 2022.
92 pages. Introduction, illustrated, chronology. ISBN 978-0-9804993-0-8 Price $30
Petticoat PioneersPetticoat Pioneers, 19 th Century Women of Irwin
By Anne Jefferys
The book gives voice to 19th Century women of Irwin, many whom spent all their adult lives
in the district raising families, burying children – and sometimes husbands – and serving the
community in a variety of ways.
78 pages. Table of Contents, Illustrated, Acknowledgements, References. Printed 2022.
ISBN 978-0-9804993-7-7 Price $25+P&P
Rogues, Rascals & The ReformedRogues, Rascals and the Reformed: Ticket-of-Leave men of the Irwin District 1860-1900,
by Anne Jefferys, published by Anne Jefferys, Ferndale 2020 (ISBN 9780980499322). A biographical dictionary and listing of 750 transported convicts recorded in the Irwin District in the late colonial period. Foreword, Introduction, Listing of Ticket of Leavers, Sources, Acknowledgements, 54 pages.
Sandalwood: the story of Western Australia’s Santalum spicatum, by Pamela Statham Drew,
Pandorus Publications, Swanbourne 2021. “WA has the only native, sub-tropical
sandalwood in the world (spicatum) and is the only country today with a consistent surplus
for export. From the first export in 1844 until today, when it earns millions of dollars in
export revenue, the WA sandalwood industry has played a small but at times very significant
role in our economic development. The book is easy to read and is enhanced by great
illustrations including many colour illustrations and wonderful historical photos. Dr Pamela
Statham Drew is an economic historian, and well qualified in this subject” (from a review of
the book in York Matters, May 2021). Table of Contents, Preface, Illustrations, Maps, End
notes, Bibliography, Index, Author Biography, 67 pages Price $30+P&P
We the DescendantsWe the Descendants
by Audrey Bowran. ISBN 978-0-6452427-0-6
The book traces the lives of the Rowland and Bowran families who left the North of England seeking new opportunities in Western Australia. 35 pages, illustrated. Price $30.00+P&P

Sea Lion Magazine

Our quarterly magazine The Sea Lion is available as a free download. The editions and content are listed here. The Sea Lion has now been replaced with our weekly update On the Museum Veranda which is emailed to members.

Sea Lion Vol 1 No8 Summer 2021-22 The Importance of Protecting Remnant Vegetation,
The Western Australian Christmas Tree: a botanical enigma,
Useful Native Plants: The Nitre Bush and James Drummond: Western Australia’s First Botanist, all by Terry Domico
Cook books as Historical Resources, UWA Assoc..Prof. Heather Hunwick.
Cyclone Seroja, Impact in the Midwest, - HCWA Heritage Officer, Tanya Henkel
Women’s history - Anne Jefferys
Convict Henry Whittaker - Anne Jefferys
Photo spread from last year’s visit to the Old Police Station by Year 9/10 DDHS photography students
Reviews of 2021 and 2022
The 2021-22 Committee Members
Sea Lion Vol 1 No7 Autumn 2020 Membership Subscriptions for 2020-21 set at $0 (zero)
Successful Covid 19 Recovery Grant from Lotterywest
Museums Re-open As From 6 June 2020
AGM to be held on Thursday 24 September 2020
Committee Meetings during the Shutdown
Lions Club Exemplary Service Award to Shirley Scotter
Old Police Station verandah conservation
New Trolley Shelter Now Completed
2021: A Year for Two Sesquicentenaries
Remembering Cliff Barrett, Fisherman
Remembering Dongara Railway Station
Isabella Waldeck: Recognition of Nan Broad’s story
Beekeepers Reserve: Past and Future
Metadata: How To Retain Information In Your Digital Images
The Kitchen Fridge: conservation of a 1950s domestic machine
Object photography
Digital Data Access – Recording the Past
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 6 Summer 202013 February (next) meeting and busy bee
Convict Database Launch Geraldton 10 January
Rogues, Rascals and the Reformed: the latest work
Blessing of the Fleet Port Denison, 11 January
Q&A: The Late Denison Hall
FAHS Report on Bushfires in the South East
Blue Shield report on Bushfires in the East
The Irwin Arms of Captain FC Irwin
Isabella Waldeck 1859-1905
Dongara District High School History Prizes
The Sandplain Blues
Sea Lavender continues its march along the foreshore
Denison Hall site and its archaeological potential
Things that go bump in the ….
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 5 Spring 2019Annual General Meeting 6 September 2019
Casual Vacancy filled: Welcome Jean Amos
Sundowner A Pleasant Evening
Launch of new website
Heritage Skills Tour
New Members Meeting format in 2020
Midland Railway trolleys shelter application submitted
The Late Denison Hall
Grey’s Cairn at Yardarino: its origin
Kate Muriel Clarkson 1889-1984
The Case of the Vanishing Beach
Summer in the City 1966
A CORRECTION : Mr Jack Pickering, 1930 - 2019
Blessing of the Fleet 2020:IDHS stall
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 4 Special Issue Denison Hall October 2019 24 SEPTEMBER IRWIN SHIRE COUNCIL MEETING
Hopes for Shire change-of-heart dashed
DPFA Proposal to the Council
DPFA Petition for a Special Meeting of Electors
IDHS Petition presented to Council
IDHS Petition rejected by Council
Denison Hall Petition:
Some Interesting Analysis
The MOFATS proposal
Welcome support from beyond the Shire
The Sherwood Report: authoritative but ignored
Pittance for heritage, nearly half to be spent on demolition
A lot has happened in a short time
$14 Million claimed Benefits
Shipwreck Walk Relocation
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 3 Autumn 2019Special General Meeting 13 June 2019
Easter Sunday Convict Tours
Easter Monday
Bookara & Greenough Tours
Reader’s feedback on The Sea Lion No 2
Strategic Planning for the Society’s Future
Member Skills Survey
What is an IRME, and where did it come from?
Significance Assessment(SA) grant application submitted
NBN to be connected to the museum and research centre
Conserving Traditional Heritage Skills
Shipwreck Walk at Denison
Denison Hall: A Campaign Update
Dongara District High School Anzac Day events
Grey’s Cairn at Yardarino50 years on
Midland Railway memories from Frances Nicholls
Lady Doris Brand, 1921 - 2019 ‘The Supreme Connector’
Mr Jack Pickering, 1930 - 2019
Charles Darwin Reserve
Federal Election: No interest in local history
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 2 Summer 2019Easter Market Day - Easter Saturday
Reader’s feedback on The Seal Lion No 1
Christmas Sundowner convivial get-together
Strategic Planning for the Society’s Future
Signal & Trolleys Conservation Progress Report
Denison Hall: A Chronology
Dongarra Beach in the 1930s, as told by ‘Fisho’
A Museum of Fishing?
Midland Railway Trolleys and Signal
Rail power meets horse power
Invasive Sea-Lavender
Irwin Shire Municipal Inventory
Midland Railway Company Sites
Midland Railway Company Heritage Nomination
Obelisk Heritage Nomination
Sea Lion Vol 1 No 1 Winter 2018Russ Cottage Gardens: Blooming roses!
Sir David Brand sculpture finally returns home
Centenary of the Armistice 1918-2018
From the Exhibition: Vaughan Edgar Foss 2nd Division Artillery
Midland Railway Line birthplace under threat
Pell Bridge
QI: five things about Rainbow Bee-eaters
Pettit’s Lane or Pettit Road?
Convict Tracks of the Victoria District
The Second Obelisk in the Denison Sandhills
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