We have moved closer to York and have started sampling out at SLK 14.3. Mount Hardy / Greenhills area.
It’s mind boggling the amount of history contained along this road, and I thought the old railway with its forgotten towns and sidings was interesting.
Some history of the area for those interested, as there is far too much for just one blog to write about, I will attempt to do a bit each day:
The location for our morning pre-start meetings for this job is located at the junction of Marwick Rd and the Quairading-York Rd at a place once called Cornhill.
So today’s history lesson is about the Marwick family from which the road is named.
The Marwick family are central to the history of York and Western Australia.
William Marwick senior was born in Emneth England in 1833. In 1852 at the age of 18 the shores of the largely undeveloped lands of Australia and the lure of gold saw him board the ship Sir Walter Raleigh in Plymouth arriving in Fremantle in June 1852.
Walking 97 km from Perth to York in a single day he commenced work for Mr Burges at Tipperary earning 20 pounds a year for the next seven years. Through this he gradually acquired his own land and like so many other early pioneers in this district got his real start from the flourishing sandalwood industry.
Together with his four sons he acquired and farmed over 20,000 acres of prime Western Australian land. He retired to England in 1897, leaving his sons to work the family properties as a joint business, Marwick Brothers Estate. Always committed to breeding fine pedigree stock, however, at the age of 80 years he returned with a boatload of some of the world’s finest rams.
Today the name of Marwick is synonymous with success and endeavour throughout this Avon District and beyond. In addition to farming interests members of the Marwick Family perform many public roles.
Warren Marwick (1869-1955) was an outstanding member of an outstanding pioneering family. One of the sons of William Marwick, they grew crops productively in the York district, and Warren, in particular, gained a reputation as one of the country’s most respected breeder of high quality sheep and horses.
With the opening of the Goldfields in the 1890’s the Marwick’s expanded their enterprise eastwards and Warren was the first farmer to take up the challenge of growing crops in the Southern Cross district. The success of his trials eventually led to the opening of the whole of the eastern wheat belt which now contributes substantially to the agricultural wealth of this State.
About the same time, Warren Marwick and his brothers developed an extensive coaching and carrying business in conjunction with the railway at Northam and in the Goldfields and were proprietors of the Coolgardie Coaching Company which later changed its name to Cobb and Co here in Western Australia.
Marwick’s Shed was the point of departure to the goldfields or other destinations and contained the necessary facilities for stabling, storage and vehicle maintenance. Fodder produced on Marwick’s land was milled and stored on the premises, meeting the needs of the business and also supplying other outlets. It remains one of the York’s more unusual, rustic and visually memorable buildings, and is considered to be a local landmark.
Warren Marwick was not simply a successful farmer and businessman but a prominent community man, leader and mentor. He was a committeeman and president of the York Agricultural Society, the York Municipal Council and the York Road Board for many years and, in a wider sphere, a member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia.
He was a founding director of Wesfarmers, now one of Australia’s largest and most successful companies and served for 37 years during the crucial foundation years of the organisation. The first meeting of Wesfarmers was held in the York Mill.
Mount Hardey townsite is located in the central agricultural region, 107 km east of Perth and 10 km east of York. A railway line from York to Greenhills was opened in 1898, and Mount Hardey established as one of the sidings on the railway line. It was also referred to as the Six Mile, being six miles from York. Following a request from the local member of Parliament town lots were surveyed, and the townsite of Mount Hardey gazetted in 1905.
Mount Hardey derives its name from the nearby feature of the same name. The feature name was first recorded in 1835, and honours John Wall Hardey, 1802-1885, farmer and Methodist preacher. His property at York was named Mount Hardey.
There is very little left of this town except a few houses along the road. I found this old map showing how it once was and where the railway station was located.