Chapter 11: Robert James & Mary Jane “Polly” Crawford family James Miller Crawford, Stanley, Raymond & Dorothy, Carbine, Kalgoorlie.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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1B1A1Robert James & Mary Jane “Polly” Crawford family James Miller Crawford, Stanley, Raymond & Dorothy, Carbine, Kalgoorlie.

Having settled his wife, Ann Elizabeth Crawford and his children in a house in Box Hill, Melbourne, Robert Crawford and his sister in law, Mary Jane Neale (nee Chenery), eldest son James Miller Crawford and he and Mary Jane’s youngest sons, Stanley and Raymond arrived on the Coolgardie goldfields around late 1894 or early 1895.

He was also accompanied by a mate from Kerang, Arthur George Shelly.  Travelling out from Perth, Arthur Shelly decided to settle in Speakmans.  He became a storekeeper and ran the post office.  A descendent of Shelly wrote in 2005 that “ ... he left Speakmans in 1899 and settled in Subiaco and Beenup (Byford) where he had a saw mill,  He had borrowed money (£150.00) from Robert Crawford and repaid it in 1912, after the death of his wife, when he sold the Beenup property and went to live in Gosnells.”

Roberts GGgrandson, Errol Crawford records:

Robert Crawford (born 24/2/1855 Geelong Victoria) and his son James Miller Crawford (born 31/1/1881 Kerang Victoria) left a bakery business in Kerang Victoria and travelled by sea to Fremantle in 1894 or 1895.

They travelled by train to Southern Cross (the line reached there in 1894) and then walked pushing a barrow 186 kilometres to Coolgardie. The rail line reached Coolgardie on 23 March 1896 and then Kalgoorlie the following year. The goldfields water pipeline first delivered water through Coolgardie to Kalgoorlie on 23 January 1903. The Crawfords settled at Kintore about 44km. north of Coolgardie where gold was being mined and set up a bakery and applied for a gold mining lease and operated a mine there for several years.

Robert separated from his wife Ann Elizabeth (nee Neale) on or before he left Victoria.  He formed a relationship with his brother-in-law’s wife; Mary Jane “Polly” Neale (Chenery) It is not known when she joined him in Western Australia but it must have been soon after his arrival as they had two children in Western Australia.  The first was Raymond born in 1896 and then Dorothy born in 1898.  (Raymond was actually born in Melbourne in 1894)

They bought the “Carbine” mine in 1902 with a partner Frank Pimley, and moved there, about 60km. north of Coolgardie and 90km. north west of Kalgoorlie.  They built a bakery and general store at Carbine either side of their residence.  They (Robert and James) were both very keen on sport and organized and took part in cricket, Australian Rules football and running. Robert was quite a good cricketer and James was not so good.  A sports ground was created in front of Robert’s house, with a concrete pitch on which matting was laid for cricket matches. Both became members of the Coolgardie Horse Racing Club and the Kalgoorlie Racing Club.  They were both, in their turn, chairmen of the local authority; Coolgardie Roads Board. Their photographs are still displayed in the Shire offices at Coolgardie along with that of Jim’s son Robert James Crawford who was also president in the 1960s of what became the Shire of Coolgardie.

The Shire began life as two entities - Coolgardie Municipal Council (1894), and Coolgardie Road Board (1896). As the gold rush waned in the area, the former was merged into the latter in 1921, and on 1 July 1961, it became the Shire Council following changes to the Local Government Act.

Bob and James served on the Coolgardie Roads Board and James’s son Bob, on the Council.

For five or so years, Robert operated a bakery to help fund his prospecting.  Just as he had been active in promoting public affairs in Kerang, he was again involved in the public affairs of Coolgardie.

At the end of this chapter are two detailed “histories” of Kunanulling and Carbine written in the 1970s, by Harry J.B. Ware, who knew the Crawfords well. 

The Crawfords were tied to the region for many generations and regularly visited the main towns.  In 1893, Coolgardie was established as the first town on the goldfields, after the discovery of gold by Bailey & Ford in 1892.  No one is sure of the origin of the name or if it was misspelt.  Local Aboriginals called the mulga tree “koolgar” and “Coolgabbi” was a tree near a waterhole.  Then again, the large Bungarra lizard was pronounced “Coorgardie”

In 1894, Kalgoorlie was established after the discovery of gold by Paddy Hannan and others in 1893. Again, no one is sure of the origin of the name.  It could have been also after the aboriginal name for a local shrub, “Galgurli” or the edible silky pear “Kulgooluh”.  Initially spelled “Calgoorlie”, the government settled on “K” to avoid confusion with Coolgardie.

Kunanulling is 25 miles from Coolgardie, so originally it was called “25Mile” or “Coonanalling” however when gazette in 1896, the Lands Department applied spelling rules and named it “Kunanalling”.

The area where the Crawfords first settled was known as Kintore, however it was only gazetted as a town because of the efforts of Robert and several others who provided the impetus.  Robert had been involved in working with the Victorian government and perhaps understood the role they could play in opening up and developing regions where they could see the economic benefit.  Given the number of Scotts on the goldfields, it is highly likely it was named after Kintore in Aberdeenshire.  In Gaelic it means “head of the forest”, so perhaps named with a sense of irony.  Then again, it might have been in honour of the ninth Earl of Kintore, Richard Refshauge who was governor of S.A. at the time. 

Coolgardie Pioneer (WA), Saturday 10 October 1896, page 21 KINTORE. RAILWAY MEETING. (From Our Own Correspondent.)

A meeting was held here on Friday evening last, at which Mr. R. Crawford and Mr.M'Cabe, the conveners, addressed a large and representative body of miners, mine managers, and business people of Kintore and Cement, stating the object of the meeting. viz., to get the people. of Kintore and this district to co-operate with the 25-Mile people and ('Coolgardie Railway League in furthering the endeavors to make the starting point of the Menzies railway at Coolgardie on the already surveyed trial line.  Mr., James Fitzhenry, manager of the Kintore G.M. Company, Limited, was voted the chair. It was proposed by Mr. A. Burge, and seconded by Mr. M'Cabe That this meeting is in favor of the railway going to Menzies Via the 25-Mile, and will pledge itself to defray the expenses of a delegate from Kintore to wait on the Government in conjunction with the Coolgardie Railway League." The motion was carried unanimously. A signed undertaking was given by the principal people present to defray any expense incurred.

It was proposed by Mr. Bowen, manager of the Hands Across the Sea, and seconded by Mr. Jas. Harrington, that Mr. R. Crawford be appointed delegate. Carried. Three members of the 25-Mile Progress Committee attended and addressed the meeting (Mr. M. Thomas, Mr. C. Bees ton, and Mr. A. P. M'Donald.) Mr.Crawford proposed, and Mr. Heyton seconded—'That Mr. A.Saiom be appointed secretary." Carried. Votes of thanks having been passed to the chairman and delegates from the 25-Mile for attending, the meeting closed.

 A meeting was held here on Saturday evening, the 3rd October, 1896, for the purpose of forming a Progress Committee in the interests of the town. About 200 people were present. It was proposed by Mr. J. A. Burges, seconded by Mr. Harrington, that Mr. Bolton (manager of W.A. Venture Syndicate, Ltd) take the chair. Carried.  Proposed by Mr. A. Burges, and seconded by Mr. F. Geaney, that this meeting is in favor of a Progress Committee being- formed. Carried. Proponed by Mr.Jas. Harrington, and seconded by Mr. R. Crawford, that nominations be accepted up to Monday,. Carried. Twenty nomination were received at the meeting, and Mr. F. Geaney was appointed returning officer for the election. At the meeting held the night before, it was decided that the delegate (Mr. Crawford) should lay before the Government the requirements of the town, principally in regard to the post, telegraph. and money offices. There are from 600 to 700 men employed here, and only one mail a week from the 25-Mile, a distance of nine miles.

While Robert Crawford was establishing himself at Kintore, his future mine was just being established. In June 1896 there was the first mention of the Carbine mine which at that stage was already down over 30 meters.  Apparently, a large British syndicate had invested in prospecting and they were paying men to dig the mine.  The miners themselves were so impressed by the gold they were seeing in the shaft, that they applied to be able to buy 15,000 of the shares when the company was listed.

By February 1897, the Carbine Gold Mining Company had been formed with a capital of 58,000 shares of £1 call, fully paid up.  This was the biggest mine outside of the Kalgoorlie area and the future looked bright. Many years later, Robert was quite vocal in his opposition to British companies buying up mines and he regularly refused offers from them to buy Carbine.  It might even explain why Robert, Jim and Frank Pimley were successful.  Investors wanted immediate profits, and in employing large numbers of miners, they perhaps needed to raise more capital.  It seems that this is what happened at Carbine and why the company collapsed and the Crawfords and Pimley were able to buy it very cheaply in 1902.  As Robert described it at the time, it was “a forced sale’.

Once they owned it, they determined that it was a business to run for the long term rather than a quick profit.

Meanwhile, Robert, Jim and family were at Kintore.  Robert never seems to have been involved in prospecting and mining himself. He was more of a speculator, either financing or buying shares in mining companies.  He must however have had interests in significant mines as in just over twelve months after arriving at Kintore, he was active in the Progress Committee described above. 

It would appear that by the time Robert arrived at Kintore, there was already one, if not two bakers operating in town.  To fund his speculations, he decided on a product with a much better profit margin and possibly as high demand.  Alcoholic spirits.  When I first located a R. Crawford with a spirit licence some years ago, I assumed it was some other Robert Crawford.  No, Robert followed the same business principle as his father, making money by selling to miners, not mining himself.

It also appears that he may have been also providing consulting services as he is one of three offices listed in an advertisement in the Kalgoorlie Miner for submissions of tenders to dig the 100ft main shaft at the Nordenfeldt Gold Mine at the 25 Mile.

We know Robert always owned horses, however other than having one stolen from him in early 1897, we don’t know how many he owned during these early years on the goldfields and if they were primarily for transport, all he notes is, “Black Horse, branded W off shoulder, off hind foot white, star and stripe.”

On the 22nd of September 1897, when living at Kintore, Robert wrote a letter to his brother James (Jim) Crawford at Hopeman in Scotland.  Jim was now a school master and their mother had died just two years earlier after living with Jim at Hopeman.  It is a very strange letter in one respect; it makes no mention at all about Mary Jane the birth of  his daughter Dorothy on the18th, just 4 days earlier.

Robert wrote on a single sheet of paper, double sided with a p.s. down the margin.  There is little punctuation and no individual paragraphs:

Dear Jim

I received yours of the 5th August yesterday.  It was unexpected.  You might have kept it & credited to my account.  By the by, how does my account stand.  I want to know so that if I have any success in any of my speculations, I can pay you up at once.  Any monies that may be coming to me will you please credit to my account until we are square.  I had a very hard struggle to get a start over here.  I had lost as much in Victoria before I left that I had very little capital to start on.  Jim (that is my eldest son) & I struggled along & for about 18 months we did a very fair business, since when things in our district have  retrograded somewhat & at present are dull, though W.A. on the whole is increasing her output of Gold fast and I believe in a couple of years the place will be vastly improved.  Had I not invested in prospecting for gold I would have done very well but I have spent most that I had made in that direction.  I am still a share holder in some shows that have a reasonable prospect of turning out well.  If they do, I shall have done all right in coming over here.  If things turn out favorably I have seriously thought of going to British Columbia one year.  I find it will not pay me to stay anywhere where money is not circulating.  We are all in good health if not in good wealth.  I am glad to hear that Jack has a reasonable prospect of establishing himself.  I think he might have done better if had come out to the Colonies at first.  There were very good openings here about two years ago.  I have not heard from him for about three years.  I am not asking for him to write he can please himself on that score.  I should very much like to visit Europe at the time of the Paris Exhibition if it were possible.  I see by the papers that you have had a very lively time during the Jubilee rejoicings.  Also that some of my old comrades in the Victorian Riffle Club upheld the prestige of their comrades. 

Love to all From your affectionate Brother  Bob

p.s. I don’t wish you to go to any inconvenience to let me know about our affairs.  I only want you to give me an approximate statement I don’t want any details at the present. R.C.

Robert refers to the career of his youngest brother John Hamilton “Bob” Crawford.  He assumed that Bob had difficulty establishing himself initially, as he was working in 1893 as the medical officer for the port sanitary authority of Middlesbrough.  What Robert didn’t know was that Bob was back studying and close to qualifying as a surgeon.

As usual, Robert would always find time to play cricket.  You will remember that when living at Durham Ox in Victoria, opponents described him bowling “snorters”.  Here he was 20 years later still “trundling” with distinction.

Coolgardie Miner (WA), Thursday 20 January 1898, page 6 CRICKET.CARBINE V KINTORE.

A team representing the Carbine journeyed to Kintore to play the local club on January 9, and succeeded, after a good game, in defeating them by three wickets, the scores being—Kintore, 28 and 55 ; Carbine, 49 and 35 for seven wickets. For the victors, Ward, Clark, Knight, and Lisle showed best form with the bat, and for Kintore, Lowery, Paisley, Coulls, and Stockdale were highest scorers. Knight, Clark, Treleavn, and Jerrard bowled splendidly for Carbine, while Tregowetb, Bateman, and Crawford trundled well for Kintore. Notwithstanding the severe heat some excellent fielding was shown on both sides.


For several years, from 1898 to 1901, they fared reasonably well with some of their investments.  They took over an abandoned mine “the Kintore” and won some reasonable amounts of gold and established the Castle Hill mine midway between Kintore and Kunanulling.  The profit from these mines probably funded the purchase of Carbine when it collapsed in 1901


In August 1901, Robert and son James along with a partner Frank Pimley, had bought the Carbine mine.  He wrote again to his brother Jim (James Crawford) at Hopeman:

Kintore, Via Calgoorlie W.A.

Dear Jim

You will I expect be surprised at receiving a cable from me which I sent too you today asking you to cable me two hundred pounds to Union Bank Coolgardie.  I my son Jim & a third party have bought a Battery & mine here very cheap it was a forced sale to scrape up my share & Jims has pushed me very tight and money I expected to come in via a business way in time to meet emergencies will not come for a month later than I expected.  Wee working the battery at present crushing for the public which will pay very well & we expect to start on our own crushing in about three weeks on payable stone.  I would not have troubled you if it had not been that there is a third shareholder with us as I could have easily raised the money on the plant & more but I can’t do so without his consent & would not like to ask for it.  I have plenty of security besides over two thirds of engine battery & plant I have several horses which if I had time I could have sold but just at present they are making me money & I don’t want to sacrifice them in a hurry.  I shall return the money to you within six months at market rate of interest.  I hope you will have sent it as it will put one in a hole if I don’t get it.  I did not like to make my business known to strangers so have availed myself of your offer of assistance in your last. You may be sure of getting it returned as stated.  I am finishing in hurry mail waiting at my door for me to finish.

Your affect Brother


We still have the telegram Robert sent to James, which I assume was sent on the same day as the letter, the 1st August 1901.  It read:

“Kalgoorlie August first.  Remit by telegraph immediately through Reuters Glasgow £200 Robert Crawford”

The money was required to repair plant and equipment at the mine and was reported even in the country NSW press:

Leader (Orange,NSW), Saturday 2 August 1902, page 2

CARBINE GOLD MINE. The manager of the Carbine Goldmining Company, No Liability (Forest Reefs), reports to July 26: —Have removed the steam-winder to shaft, also the poppets, which we are now re-erecting. Battery-shed has been built in, and engine is in position ready to start the battery. If weather keeps favourable we should be able to start work below and have the battery going in about three weeks from date.


Robert maintained the shop in Kintore for ten years or so. We have no knowledge of what he sold other than spirits and copies of the Coolgardie Miner newspaper. He set up a bakery at Carbine, however there is no specific mention of him operating a bakery at Kintore.  He is recorded as meeting the state mining minister there at his shop, but not what he was selling.


Robert was always on the lookout for opportunities.  In May 1902, he applied for a lease on land near Kunanalling, proposing to call the mine the “Sydney Mint North”.  We don’t know if he was granted the lease, however by 1908 it had been forfeited several times by other miners.  It is highly likely that the development of the Carbine mine became his priority.


We don’t know if Robert ever recovered his stolen horse however in 1902 he was advertising that a fully saddled horse had strayed into his yard.  Fully saddled?


The electoral role for Kintore in 1904 lists just four people: R Crawford – Kintore Spirit Merchant, Martin Dowlan Kintore Publican, J. Doyle Miner and J Weir Miner


By this time, son Jim was in his early 20’s.  It is unlikely that he continued any schooling after the age of 15 and most of his time in Kintore would have been working on mines that his father was investing in.  They would have lived in the shop that Robert established and Mary Jane would have been raising Stan, Ray and Dorothy, keeping house and perhaps even operating the shop while Robert was riding around the district visiting mines in which he had invested and looking for the next big thing.


Even after they took ownership of the Carbine mine, the family continued to live at Kintore where they had a house and amenities such as other shops, schooling and a social life. In 1902, Ray was sent to St Anthony’s Convent school in Coolgardie and later Dorothy to boarding school at MLC in Perth, where she was awarded prizes for English, History and Science. In 1913, she passed the Alliance Francaise exams and passed the Royal Academy of Music Intermediate level for singing.

In 1914, she passed the University of Adelaide Intermediate examinations, with passes in Literature, Geography, French, Arithmetic, Algebra, and Physiology and a credit in History.  She came third in the school and a distinction award for History.


By 1904, the Carbine Mine was beginning to prove its long-term worth.


Coolgardie Miner (WA), Thursday 8 September 1904, page 2



Mr. Crawford, one of the proprietors of the Carbine mine, at Kintore, has brought to Coolgardie what is probably the finest specimen of gold bearing stone ever seen in the town. The strike was made in the mine on Friday last. During yesterday the specimen was exposed to view in the office of the "Coolgardie Miner," and it attracted considerable notice. The stone weighs about 2cwt. 3qrs. and it is permeated with gold throughout. Mr. Crawford says that the lode is an enormous one, having been penetrated for 100ft. The material is easily obtained, but there is a shortage of water for milling purposes. On the mine there is a plant capable of treating 1000 tons a month if sufficient water was available, but in the present circumstances only about 150 tons per month ran be dealt with. It is intended to put the shaft down to 400ft, and then to crosscut. The specimen referred to was. obtained at a depth at about 300ft.


Two years later, the government was taking this part of the goldfields much more seriously and the minister for mines not only toured the district, but committed the government to providing resources to assist in the development of the field and specifically the supply of water.  Also at the meetings, was George Hooley, the father of Myrtle Hooley who would later marry Stanley Crawford.  George lived a long life and in 1949, when 90 years old, was reported having a meeting with a 100-year wheelwright who had worked in Coolgardie.  George had lost one eye when 80 years old and had only recently given up smoking.  He had an amazing life as a miner, and we will tell ore of his history later.

Coolgardie Miner (WA : 1894 - 1911), Thursday 1 March 1906, page 3



When the Minister of Mines (Mr. Gregory) was at Kunanalling on Monday night a deputation brought under his notice a suggestion that 3dwt. 3gr, was too much of a margin for public crushing plants to keep for themselves.  Mr. Gregory said this was what was allowed at the Government batteries He agreed that it was too much, and said that be hoped to make a reduction in the future. The Minister was asked if there was any danger of the Kurrawang wood railway line encroaching on the Kunanailing district. Mr. Gregory said that while he was Minister, they need have no fear. He remembered about two years ago largely-signed requisition, urging an extension of the line to Kunanalling, but he promptly rejected it, for he recognised that it was not from legitimate mine owners and prospectors. The Ministerial party left Kunanalling at 7 o'clock on Tuesday morning for Carbine and Waverley. The City of London mine was passed about four miles from Kunanalling. Some stone from this mine was recently treated by the Premier battery for the low charge of 8/ per ton. On arrival at the Kintore, the Minister was met by Mr. R.Crawford, one of the owners of the Carbine mine, who keeps a store at Kintore, and several other residents. They asked that the 33-mile dam should be cleaned out and fenced. The Minister promised to get this done at once. The Minister was shown some good specimens of alluvial gold obtained by a dryblower named Fairhall at the 8-mile, where several men were working in the gullies. Fairhall asked the Minister if he would alter the regulations which enabled ethers to peg out an adjoining claim of the discoverer of a new find, thus preventing the discoverer from getting the advantage of his success. The Minister agreed that the request was a just one and promised to amend the regulations to provide that the discoverer should get a claim of double the area of the others.

Mr. Church, the owner of the Hand Across the Sea mine was met at Kintore. He reported that he had struck new reef, and recently crushed 2' tons, averaging 30dwt per ton. He has now about 20 tons more ready for crushing. Kintore was once a flourishing little township and there are evidences on all hands of some mining activity, but more particularly of the reckless expenditure, extravagance and waste of some years ago. The Great Cement leases were floated for an enormous sum of money, said to be in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million. This was done with the idea to treating a large amount of material on the lease, but which was apparently worthless. A plant of formidable proportions was purchased and erected, but the only thing now remaining is a large stone mansion built for the manager of the property, which must have cost about £5000 in those days. The whole scene is now one of absolute desolation. The Great Sugar Loaf and the Hilton are other properties upon which large sums have been expended, mostly English and German capital. Mr. Hooley met the party at Kintore and conducted them to the Australia mine in the Balgarrie district. Mr. Hooley was the discoverer of the White Cliffs opal fields of New South Wales. That important discovery was made while Mr. Hooley was tracking kangaroo which he had wounded, and accidentally came upon a valuable bunch of opal. The Australia mine is an enormous low-grade lode of upwards of 100ft. in width. It has been sunk upon to a depth of 100ft., and extends for a considerable distance, and several leases have been taken up along the line of lode. One parcel crushed gave a return of 6dwt., the highest yield being I6dwt., and the average about 6dwt. It is estimated that the material could be mined and placed in the ore bin at the battery at a cost of 2/6 per ton. There is another lode running parallel with this, which is said to be worth about 6dwt. but this has not been tested much. The property is now under offer to an English company. Mr. Hooley asked the Minister to endeavor to obtain a salt water supply for the locality, and then he could get capital to work this large lode. The Minister, who appeared to take considerable interest in the property, said he would send a boring party there to obtain a water supply. From a depth of 100ft. sulphides were obtained which assayed from 10dwt, to 25dwt per ton. The party then steered for the Carbine, guided by Mr.Crawford, senior. who joined them at Kintore. On reaching the Carbine, the Minister met a number of leaseholders, and the Party afterwards went underground in the Carbine mine, which is the most remarkable property on the goldfields. Even in a district famous for its large lodes, the ore body on this lease is. unique for its size, A shaft has put down for a depth of 400ft. The whole of the stone taken from the shaft is lode material, and was put through the ten head battery on the property. At this depth a crosscut has been put in for a distance of over 400ft. surely a remarkable crosscut, and the most remarkable fact of all that neither wall has been so far encountered. Other excavations have been made at this level and at other levels, and no limitation of the extent of the lode can be found. Apparently it is all lode material, getting richer with depth, and more valuable the crosscut is extended. The Minister was greatly impressed with the value of such enormous ore body, and traversed every foot of the workings at the 400ft. level, with keen interest. Every member of the party was astonished at what they saw and expressed themselves as surprised beyond measure. In the first 50ft-. of the crosscut at 400ft. level values were about 3 or 4 dwts, but in the remaining 350ft. they had increased to 8 or 9 dwts. The Minister and the members of the party congratulated the owners of the Carbine mine on their valuable an interesting mine. The property has been worked in a systematic manner. The ore body can be mined very cheaply, owing to Its nature. The owner are Crawford and Son and Pimley. The Minister was shown some phenomenally rich specimens recently obtained from the bottom level. After the mid-day meal, Mr. R Crawford introduced a deputation to the Minister and asked for a pipe line to connect with the water supply recently struck in the Government bore with the Carbine mine, a distance of miles; that the Government subsidise the Carbine battery, so that it could treat stone for the public at Government rates ; also a grant of £20 to clear and improve a recreation ground.

Mr. Gregory, in replying, said that he would supply water for their requirements under certain conditions to be gone into later on. He could not see his way clear to grant money for the recreation ground. Replying to the toast of his health, Mr. Gregory said he had had a great surprise when he saw the extent and value of the Carbine mine. Mr. Connolly, M.L.C., said he did not think that he was ever so pleased with anything he had seen as with the Carbine mine. Mr. W. T. Eddy, M.L.A., said it was not too much to say that the Carbine mine was one of the greatest mines in the world.


Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Tuesday 25 September 1906, page 5


QUESTION OF A WATER SUPPLY. Coolgardie, Sept. 24.

Crawford and Pimley, owners of the Carbine mine at Kintore, today lodged in the bank 667 oz. 15 dwt. of gold, produced from the 400 ft. ' level, 96 lb; weight of stone having been treated for that result. Mr. Crawford estimates 'the total result by the end of the month as 1,000 oz. from the same source, Mr. Crawford considers it possible that he may get water to the mine now, at an early date. He thinks it too late to start dam sinking, but less money would make a permanent supply for Kunanalling, Jourdie Hills and Carbine, by laying a pipe line from the trunk scheme pipes, either from Bonnievale or Calooli. This would mean approximately 40 miles of pipes, and would ensure permanent revenue for the department, and a permanent water supply for two fast rising mining centres. His negotiations for a supply from the recently put down bore are still proceeding, and in the meantime development work in a wealthy district is practically standing still. The same remark applies to Jourdie Hills, where a fast-increasing population, with splendid prospects of developing a great mining centre are encrusted in red tape, are paying famine prices for water for domestic use, and are not too liberally supplied for battery and boiler purposes.


Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Wednesday 10 October 1906, page 6



Coolgardie. Oct. 9.

Crawford and Pimley (Carbine Mine ; Kintore), have crushed. 180 tons for 202 oz. 14 dwt. This, in addition to 667 oz. 15 dwt., which were dollied, makes up their September return. Mr. Crawford, sen., proceeded to Perth to-day by the express, intending, if possible, to complete arrangements for ensuring a permanent water supply for the Carbine mine, which for three years past has averaged about 10 dwt. per ton, and has had an expensive plant often hung up for lack of water.

In 1906, it was obvious that the mine was going to prosper for a long time so the family applied to the Wardens Court for grants of land for building homes.Residential areas.—100S Frank Pimley (Carbine), was held over, as were 102S (P. Moran), 103S (J. M. Crawford), and 104S (Stanley Crawford).  Stanley was just 16 years old at the time and James Miller Crawford 25.

In December Stanley Crawford also applied for a business area of a quarter of an acre at Carbine, the ground being Carbine Lot No. 2

Evening Mail (Fremantle, WA), Monday 15 October 1906, page 2

A few days ago, we reported that the Minister for Mines had been treated to a pleasant little experience; taking the form of the repayment of prospecting loan which had been advanced to Messrs. Crawford and party, of the Carbine leases, situated 38 miles north of Coolgardie. The refund was accompanied by a highly encouraging letter, which informed the Minister that the loan had been the means of enabling them to carry out prospecting work which had led to a highly successful issue. A representative of "The Evening Mail" this morning met Mr. Crawford in Perth, and had a highly interesting conversation with him concerning the. Carbine leases. Mr. Crawford stated that the only mine at present on gold was the Carabine, owned by Crawford, Son, and Pimley . During the last four years they had a severe struggle while carrying out the preliminary prospecting work. They persevered however, feeling confident that they were on a really good thing. The lode is a very large one, the full width of which they have not yet ascertained, notwithstanding the fact that they have crosscut 150ft and driven 200 feet, without meeting the walls. Putting through between 6000 and 7000 tons of the material in bulk as taken out during the course of this prospecting work, they obtained an overage of about I2.dwtc. per ton. From the 400 feet level, at 460ft from the shaft on the north side of the crosscut, they took out a week or two ago 90 pounds of stone, from which they obtained 667oz .140dws of gold. On account of scarcity of water their past month's crushing only totaled 187 tons 18cwt., yielding 202ozs. over the plates. This, with the patch above referred to made a total of 869oz. for the month. They had now got the mine equipped with a 19 head battery and winding plant. When the machinery was. erected, they discovered that the water in the shaft, which was down to a depth of 320 ft.  did not lift sufficient water for their requirements. With the object of them being able to continue sinking in order to increase the water supply they secured a loan of £500 from the Government. In consequence of the hard nature of the country through which they had to pass, however, this amount of money was not sufficient to enable them to carry out the work, and they therefore secured an additional loan of £300, with the aid of which they took the shaft down to a depth of 180ft. Although they have now succeeded in improving the water supply, it is still not sufficient for their machinery to …. And they are negotiating with the Government; to lay on water from a lake about four miles distant. Mr. Crawford expresses himself as being confident that within the next ten years the Carbine will prove to be one of the best mines in Australia. Irrespective of the great width of the load, it is improving in quality at a depth. Only a few days ago a piece of stone weighing 21lbs. was brought up from the 200ft level, and attached to this was solid gold weighing 21lbs. avoirdupois. They had opportunities of selling the properly, and had refused an offer of £60,000. "I don't see why we should sell all the good things to the English companies," remarked Mr. Crawford. "We have proved that we have got a highly payable mine, and we are going to work it. After we have done with it, we can hand it down to our children. They have leases adjoining on the eastern and southern side, but very little work had been done on those, their object being to continue their present development work, and then decide where the main shaft will be put down. Clough and party are working a property on the same line, from which some good-looking stone is being lifed, estimated to be worth 12dwts. per ton, On the north of the Carbine a lease has been taken up by Turner and Biltoff.

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Friday 30 November 1906, page 5


Coolgardie. Nov. 29

Robert Crawford (Crawford and Pimley) owners of the Carbine mine at Kintore, stated to-day that they had struck water at the 400 ft. level, producing 15,000 gallons daily. This means an apparent permanent supply, and Mr. Crawford has notified the Minister for Mines that the proposed transit of water, by pipes from the bore, distant about four miles from the Carbine, will not be required. Mr. Crawford says that the Carbine will now be able to carry on operations, and can also supply water to the Carbine South, now applying for three months exemption for want of water to run the machinery on their leases. The proposed scheme to carry water from the bore to the Carbine, distance about four miles, would mean an estimated expenditure of £4000, and the hope now arises that that sum and more will be utilised for urgent needs at Jourdie Hills and adjacent districts, where big developments are in progress, and where water costs 8/ per 100 gallons. The directory of the Carbine South is now in communication with the Minister regarding the question, and if the Carbine, mine terms are satisfactory, the pending application for exemption for the Carbine South will not be maintained. Much satisfaction is expressed, regarding the Carbine development, which is looked on as assuring the future prosperity for the field generally.


Westralian Worker (Perth, WA), Friday 4 January 1907, page 3

Notes from Coolgardie. (By John Mitchell, Secretary Miners' Union)

During last week I went for a tour round a part of our large district in the interests of the branch. At the Carbine it is the intention of the owners to install a large condensing plant to provide fresh water for the boilers during the Xmas, and it is expected when this work is completed that operations will be resumed on a much larger scale than formerly.


Many of the newspaper reports on mines throughout the goldfields refer to shafts going down to water level.  The significance of this, is that it would allow them to pump water up to both wash the crushed stone to separate the gold and also to condense to provide drinking water.  It is what allowed the Crawfords and Pimley to crush for nearby mines and earn money to finance their own mine.


Some of the condensing plants around the goldfields were massive.  Most of the water obtained from the bores and lakes was salty and with up to 15,000 men working in some areas such as Coolgardie, they needed fresh drinking water. There is a lot of information to be found at , such as the government established huge condensers such as the one at Coolgardie capable of producing 455 000 litres of fresh water per day. In doing so it consumed 545 000 litres of salt water and 100 tonnes of wood.


Water (condensed) sells at 3d a gallon and has a very insipid taste, resembling boiled water with a dash of galvanised iron and several other unrecognisable substances including smoke. John Aspinall 1895


The condensers usually consist of two square 200 gallon iron tanks built with a sort of oven underneath. A pipe 5 or 6 inches in diameter and about 60 feet long leads from each tank, being doubled back with a bend so that the end comes back close to the tank. The steam gets cooled going along the pipe and the water drips from the pipe into a galvanised iron tank. … Such a condenser as I have described will condense 400 gallon a day — Firewood is bought at 15/- a load and the salt is cleaned out once a week. John Aspinall 1895”


There are also numerous references to “dryblowing’.  Where water wasn’t available, a sifting cradle machine and a bellows was used to separate the gold from the dirt.  Rock would be put into a “dolly” and then pounded until reduced to dirt that was then put into the cradle.  The W.A. Museum records that The Lorden Patent Cradle Dryblower was invented by Steve Lorden in 1893 while in Western Australia. The dryblower revolutionized life for gold prospectors. Lorden entered into a short-lived partnership with John Banfield to market his invention, and 300 machines were sold in the first year. The dryblowers were manufactured in Fremantle, and agencies were soon established in all mining centres.

The patentee does not claim that it will save gold from stuff containing none, but what is claimed is that if the gold exists whether of the finest flour or coarsest sort this machine will most assuredly save it. Further he does not go.

The model was constructed on the cradle principle with its adjustable screens moving in a rocking motion.  It included a pair of bellows to blast air, to separate the heavier gold from other material. The machine, designed to be carried on a horse or a camel, weighed 100 lbs.”

Is it possible that John Banfield was Bid’s husband Denzil Banfield’s grandfather or uncle?

In August 1907, there was a major tragedy at the mine when a two-year-old boy walked off into the desert and was never seen again.  Robert coordinated the search for sixteen days and the full story is recorded at the end of this chapter.  This is the brief account:

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Wednesday 21 August 1907, page 4


Coolgardie, Aug. 20. No trace is reported to have been found of the two-years-old child of Mr. Thomas Carr, engine-driver at the Carbine mine, who was lost, early on Monday, August 5. All the police who had returned from the search were ordered to continue their efforts, and all the black trackers in the district have been taken into the service.

Mr. Robert Crawford arrived at: Coolgardie to-day from Carbine. He states that the search for the lost child is now abandoned by the search parties, this being the sixteenth day since the little one's disappearance. Trooper Hulme to-day reached Kunanulling, and wired to Kalgoorlie for instructions regarding further procedure. He advises that the blacks now camped about Kurrawang be sent to the end of the tracks, and provided with rations to camp there and, search for the remains.

The tracker 'Jimmy,' who displayed great zeal and intelligence during the search, expressed the. opinion that the child was taken by an eaglehawk. This seems to be supported by the fact that the tracks were finally lost at the end of the clay-pan, where they were very distinct. The tracker said, pointing to the tracks, and then skyward, 'Look like child go that way up.' The child is described as being of abnormal strength and vitality, and weighed 2-stone when lost, which would largely account for its prolonged struggle for life. Amongst the many willing helpers in searching, Mr. Crawford particularly names Constable Hulme, the tracker 'Jimmy.'' Mr. George Hooley (Buigiarrie), and Mr. Watt (Davyhurst).  All worked well, but these particularly so. Mr. Crawford omitted to mention his own invaluable assistance of continuous supplies of water and stores.

The possibility that he was taken by an eagle, was supported by the fact that when one of his shoes was found, it was miles from where his tracks were last sighted, and they didn’t believe he could have walked with just one shoe on.

The following article attests to the fact that Bob, Jim and Frank were extremely committed to the community and socially responsible.  Just as Bob had made appeals for government support and provision of resources over the previous ten years, he appreciated that their success was also dependent upon the success of other mines and miners.  In fact, it was acknowledged that it was the goldfields that provided the finance that supported the entire state.

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Wednesday 1 January 1908, page 3


. (From our Correspondent.),

Messrs. Crawford and Pimley (Carbine G.M., Kintore) have cleaned up 180 tons for 126 oz. for December. Mr. Mr. J. H. Thompson, the manager of the Carbine South Leases (pegged on to the Carbine G.M.), seen to-day, fully confirms the report as published last week by me. The syndicate, which comprises many well-known mining men in Coolgardie and elsewhere, has sunk 400 ft., and has driven west 320 ft. and east 43 ft. In the latter drive; they got water making freely in the face. Mr. Thompson says that the stoppage is only temporary, and in order to recruit forces and finance. The machinery, etc., now on the ground is not lost— but gone before its time. Mr. Thompson paid a warm tribute to Messrs. Crawford and Pimley' s generosity in the matter of water supply, as, holding absolutely the key of the position, they refuse nobody, and the Carbine South has hitherto been solely dependent upon them. The. Carbine supplies about 7000 gallons daily. In this connection it is well to refer to a letter appearing in your Monday's issue of the Kalgoorlie 'Miner,' which is signed 'W. H. Alford & Sons, Trafalgar, Dec. 27.' In that letter the Messrs. Alford take me to task for a statement made in 'Coolgardie Mining Notes' in your Christmas Day issue, regarding the shortage' of water, and they object to the remark that 'water has been carted long distances from the 42-mile dam at a correspondingly long price.' In that- paragraph I said nothing about how the cost was incurred, but it. seems palpable enough that if a man gravels 14 miles for water and 14 miles return, he must be paying a correspondingly long price, for it. It is a pleasure, however, to find that in - 'a dry land where no water is there can be found an oasis where any prospectors requiring water just turn a tap and fill their tanks and tins without the labour of jerking the Government pump.  So say Messrs. Alford and Sons, and so I am informed by those who have hitherto benefited by their generosity it is. All the same, the position is strongly accentuating the proposal made months ago in this column that the State should find the water for so valuable a district, and that those requiring it should ''just turn a tap and fill their tanks and tins,' not from gratuitous supplies which may fail any day, but from the State scheme, devised and executed for the purpose of finding water for the goldfields, instead of allowing it to run to waste over Mundaring weir. Messrs. Crawford and Pimley, out of a 7000-gallon daily supply, run their battery 12 hours and give the rest away. If they had a sufficient supply to run 24 hours continuously how many more hands would be employed, and how much corresponding wealth would result to the State, the owners, their employees, and the district generally in developments. These are questions worthy of close investigation and early action thereon.


Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Saturday 27 June 1908, page 6


MR. GREGORY'S PROGRESS. Waverley, June 26


The Minister for Mines, Mr. H. Gregory, M.L.A.. arrived here today, having left Coolgardie early on Wednesday morning en route for the northern goldfields. The journey was negotiated per motor car.

BONNIEYALE. After a half-hour's spin from Coolgardie Bonnievale was reached, and a call made, at the Westralia and East Extension Mines. These mines are at present let on tribute, and mining generally at present, in the district is quiet. The local people here are anxious to secure water from the goldfields. water supply on better terms, the water for a considerable time past for mining purposes and the domestic supply having cost 8d. per ton of ore crushed. KUNANALLING AND CARBINE. After spending half an hour at the Westralia Mines, a start was made for Kunanalling, which was reached at 2pm. A visit was pa-d to the local Government dam, which was found to be full.


Carbine was reached early in the evening, and here a deputation from the Progress Association waited upon the Minister. A request was made for a fresh water dam for general supplies, also for a grant of land for recreation purposes, and assistance in building a mechanics'  institute. A timber reserve was asked for around the salt water well, four miles distant from the town, to prevent the timber company depleting the timber supply. The Minister pointed out that instructions for the sinking of a dam had been issued, but that funds were not available during this financial year; for carrying out the work. The forest ranger would be asked to arrange the timber reserve. A recreation reserve would be granted, and assistance would be given to the Mechanics' Institution on the usual pound for pound basis, together with a block of ground on which to erect the building. Early yesterday morning (Thursday) a visit of inspection was made to the Carbine, the principal mine in the district. The proposition has been worked for the past six years with considerable success by the present owners. There are a tenhead battery and winding engine erected on the property. The mam shaft is down 365 ft., and a winze sunk from the bottom level is revealing improved values. At an additional depth of 60 ft. the ore deposits are of huge width, but are not very well denned, and the mine noted for the rich patches occasionally found there, A few months ago 700 oz. of gold were taken from 2cwt. of stone, and one piece of ore weighing 21 lb. yielded 21lb of gold. The water supply here unfortunately is very meagre. It’s almost entire absence prevents the mine from being worked on the large scale it merits. To date 15,219 tons of ore have been crushed tor a return of 8038 oz. About 1000 1 ft. of driving has been done and 500 tons of ore stoped, the balance coming from the levels. The mine employs 20 men, and with improved water supplies should employ many more.

Bob was still to join the Coolgardie Roads Board.  Perhaps the incident reported below, prompted him to join the board.  Like many on the goldfields, he traveled on horseback or in a sulky on very rough roads.  Because the country was so barren, the first explorers had followed aboriginal walking tracks from the coast to the eastern country.  They followed them because it was the only way guaranteed to take them via indigenous wells and soaks.  The same applied when prospecting, and therefore the main towns such as Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Kintore, Kanunulling and possibly even Carbine were on or close to these tracks.  I don’t imagine that prospectors just set off into the wilderness where sources of water would be unknown.

The Roads Boards were not just responsible for building and maintaining roads.  They also provided drainage to control water, often just depositing gravel to firm up the road or path surfaces. As to what equipment was used and how the roads were built, there isn’t much information.  The Board owned horses, a plough and a scoop.  A foreman was employed to supervise the work and they most likely used beams hauled by the horses to level the road and gravel to fill in the holes. They licensed camels and goats, and the alteration of the road gauge and the width of tyres were noted for the agenda paper at the annual conference of all Roads Boards in Perth.  As well as levying the mines to pay for roadworks, they also regularly applied to the state government for finance.  Given the value of gold to the economy of W.A., it was in the interests of the government to make transport reliable.

It is highly likely that much of the gravel and building materials use to build the roads was transported on large carts pulled by camels.  The first car to be registered in Western Australia was in 1901 and it would be many years before anything resembling a “truck” was available.

Coolgardie Miner (WA :), Thursday 7 January 1909, page 2

Mr. "Bob" Crawford, the well-known part-owner of the Carbine mine, met with a slight vehicular accident near Lindsay's mine yesterday, when on his way out to the Carbine mine. Little or no damage was done by the capsizing of the sulky, and the journey was continued after a brief delay.

Coolgardie Miner (WA), Thursday 11 March 1909, page 3

Coolgardie Roads Board.—At 6 p.m. yesterday nominations closed for the three vacancies on the Coolgardie Road Boards and as only the required number were nominated, no election will be held. In the place of Messrs Austin, Kelly, and Davison, who retired by effluxion of time, -Messrs. W. Austin, R. Crawford, and W. Everson were nominated. Mr. C. B. Moor was re-elected auditor unopposed.


As usual, the Crawfords were always up for a cricket match and on this occasion in mid-December at the end of 1909, all four played together.  At the time, Robert “Bob” would have been 54 years old, James “Jim” 28, Stan 19 and Ray 15.  Playing for the Carbine mine against the Jourdie Hills cricket club, Robert continued to take wickets.  In the spirit of sport for the love of sport, both teams fielded more than the traditional 11 players.  Both teams played 13 men.  Robert took 4 wickets.

Having joined the Coolgardie Roads Board in 1909,  in June 1911 he offered his resignation as he was planning on a six-month trip to the U.K. The board asked him to take a six month leave of absence rather than resign.  Just months earlier, the newspaper had commented that a number of members of the roads board were fairly lax in attending meetings and that they should all be as hard working as Robert Crawford who had the furthest to travel to attend meetings, and yet was the most regular. 

They noted that he would be departing on Friday 30th June 1911.  Alison Crawford, Ggrandaughter of Robert’s bother James “Jim“ Crawford, has a cake or biscuit tin illustrated with lorikeets and a kangaroo leather writing pouch illustrated with a Kookaburra.  It is most likely these were gifts Robert and Mary Jane took to the family at Hopeman.  Jim died in 1910, however Robert and Mary Jane visited all of the family’s hometowns.  We have to assume they visited Comrie, Elgin and possibly Grantown, visiting relatives where they knew of them.

Robert and Mary Jane returned to Freemantle on board the R.M.S. Mooltan on the 5th December.  The Mooltan was later sunk, in 1917 during the 1st WW.  Back at Carbine, the press recorded:

Evening Star (Boulder, WA), Saturday 9 December 1911, page 3

Mr. "Bob" Crawford., chief owner of the Carbine mine at Carbine, returned on Friday after a six months trip to the land of his, forefathers. It was his first visit to Scotland, and he hardly missed a foot of soil on which I his progenitors had sounded their battle cry. Mr. Crawford gave very little attention to mining matters, and has no intention of disposing of Carbine, but in London he was impressed with the fact that there was no speculation in W.A. shares. With a bit of a revival, however, he believes capital will again be available for and promising proposition.

While away, the mine continued to produce and the press noted just before his return that " “Crawford is still knocking gold out of the Carbine, the latest return being 155oz. from 350 tons. The Carbine has one of the biggest lodes in the State.”

Some lamented that it was in the hands of Crawford and Pimley because they were happy to employ 20 men and progress steadily, while if owned by a company with shareholders, they believed that they would employ 200 miners.

All this time in Western Australia, the children were growing up.

On 31st October 1910, Raymond passed the University of Adelaide examinations while attending Kunanulling State School, with passes in English grammar, composition and dictation, Arithmetic, Geometry and English History. 

Coolgardie Miner (WA), Saturday 27 September 1913, page 3


We understand that Messrs. Crawford and Pimley have brought the pipe line; from Rowel's Lagoon to Carbine, a distance of five miles, which  will now enable them to run their battery three shifts, and it should be a direct benefit to the aforesaid, who are the pioneers of the Carbine and district. Had it not been for the enterprise displayed by them, it is probable that this district would have been left un-prospected for years to come, and it is gratifying to the men that they have been well rewarded for their perseverance. By having the pipe line, it will enable many of the adjoining shows to be prospected, as well as enable Messrs. Crawford and Pimley to treat the large accumulated heap of sands and slimes which would have been treated long since had water been available. The recent crushing from this mine gave a result of 144oz 9cwt from 350 tons of ore, chiefly from the 400ft level. Mr. Crawford is now cutting a nice patch of wheat which looks to be worth a ton to the acre.


Coolgardie Miner (WA), Saturday 7 March 1914, page 3


For some time there have been rumors of an impending fall at the Carbine mine, where such immense excavations have been made that one of the drives is known as Bayley-street, and a stope is termed Government House ballroom. Should this fall take place and. block the shaft, Crawford and party will be able to make use of the Carbine South shaft, which is close to the boundary.  A new find has been made on the road between Carbine and the 8-Mile alluvial patch, about a mile from the Carbine Hotel. The lode was found in a V shaped patch where the road splits; and excellent pan results, estimated at an ounce, have been obtained. Mr. R. Crawford, who is interested in the field, speaks hopefully of it.


Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA), Sunday 12 April 1914, page 6


The visitor to Carbine must be venturesome to ask either Mr R Crawford or Mr. Pimley, the owners of the mine, if there be any truth in the rumor that the upper levels of the Carbine are swaying. It was recently stated in the press, that a big fall was feared; but, when the writer visited the district recently, the owners emphatically denied that there was any such thing the matter with the mine. Attention was called to a fenced-in area to the south of the battery, across which traffic has been stopped, but Mr. Pimley stated that was done for a much simpler reason, and to prevent inconvenience that had existed. He also stated that any competent mining man would be unable to find anything wrong with the workings, and was welcome to make an inspection. As to the ore bodies, there is very little change to report since a previous visit, but- the immense lodes continue at the 500ft. level, but the values over the plates are lower than formerly. Up to 18 months ago, the total tonnage treated had given an average of l3dwts., but that included some rich stone. The recent average has been just over 9dwts., but it is claimed that ore of this value is practically unlimited. There is a 10-head battery, and some 20 men, all told, are employed on the mine, where, a company would employ at least ten times that number, - provided existing values were maintained. North-west, on. a separate line of lode, is the Spearmint, owned, by R. Crawford and Pimley. The lode is about 2ft. in width at 250ft., and four men are working it- A crushing was going through at the Carbine battery at the time of the writer's visit, but the return is not yet to band. It is supposed from its strike that the Spearmint lodes make into the Carbine on the northern lease, but it may be there is a cross-course connecting the two lodes. So far, the work done is no test of either theory.

The bureaucratic administration of the amalgamation of the mines and goldfield’s scheme is very irksome, in some of the outback districts, and Carbine is a case in point. Some years ago the Mines Water Supply Department leased to the owners of the Carbine mine a Government well sorne two miles to the north, on the understanding that it would give a supply of 20,000 or 25,000 gallons per day, and the rental, in accordance with the undertaking, was fixed at £40 per annum, the owners of the mine to provide the pipe line and pumping station. This was done, but the supply has fallen to 7000 gallons. The amalgamated department will not reduce the rent nor allow the Carbine proprietary to deepen the well or put in a drive to increase the supply. Consequently, the mill may be abandoned and the revenue lost. This does not look like honest dealing or good policy, and gives color to the contention that the outlying mine branches should not have been brought into the amalgamation. The long lines of lode between Kintore and Kunanalling, extending over nearly the whole of the eight miles separating the two places, are in that deplorable state of idleness so conspicuous on many of our fields from which capital was withdrawn at too early a stage for a thoroughly exhaustive test to be. made. The Soudan mine, which gave its name to one of these lines, had a brilliant career, and crushings up to 6oz. per ton were obtained, but of the whole of this belt of country it said that practically no work has been done below water level- When the inevitable swing of the financial pendulum brings the return of capital for mining investment there .is no doubt but some of. these old and isolated lines of lode will be worked again. The old Kunanalling . (25 Mile) there is now an almost similar state of affairs. The Hopeful (O'Connor and Miller) is idle, and the owners are on wages at the Turn of the Tide options. The Shamrock (Outridge) adjoining the Hopeful is also passing through quiet times. and the battery is now idle. The Premier, once the big mine of the district.; was abandoned some years ago, but until some months ago a party of the prospectors had a fair run of success in running the stopes, but even that has been stopped now. In the vicinity, of Ware's battery, some distance south east of the town site, only one show is how being worked, and that is held by T. Donovan, an old prospector in the district.


Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Tuesday 6 October 1914, page 25


A bachelors' ball was held on Saturday at Carbine, and it was one of the most successful gatherings that has ever taken place there. Friends came from Ora Banda, Chadwin, Juordie Hillis and Kunanalling. The supper, to which about 140 sat down at the Carbine Hotel, was a credit to the bachelors of Carbine. The following are the names of some of the ladies present: Mrs. R. Crawford, Mrs. J.- Crawford, Mrs. F. Pimley, Mrs.  McKenna, Mrs. Pain. Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Hiles; Miss Hooley, Miss M. Hicks, Miss H.Hicks. Miss Bailey, Miss McKenna. Miss Minder; Miss O'Don-i nell, Miss McCuiloch, 'Miss. J. Mc culloclh. Miss Luke; Miss Master-; man. Miss Edwards, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Pool. Miss Bathurst, Mrs.Bastow, Miss Williams, Mrs. J. Geddes, Mrs. C. Geddes. Mrs. Jim Geddes: Mrs. Dupuoy, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Keich,. Miss Trin. Mrs. Trip, Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Moran, Miss Pearce, Mrs Treweek. Miss May Hicks, and Mrs. O'Connor. Excellent dance music was provided by Miss. Scott at the piano, and the duties of  M.C. -were ably carried out by Mr. Jack Davis. Dancing was continued until the small hours of, the morning. The hall was decorated with wild flowers and green bushes, 'which gave the place a charming appearance.

Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Tuesday 15 December 1914, page 3


Mr. Robert Crawford, of the well-known Carbine Gold Mine, states that owing to the Late, rains the district never looked better at this time of the year. There is water everywhere, which will assist prospectors in their endeavour to unearth something new. The bush feed is plentiful, and this is also an important, item to prospectors.

Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 - 1916), Tuesday 29 June 1915, page 9

COOLGARDIE RECRUITS "By yesterday's express two young men (says our Coolgardie correspondent) departed for training at the base camp. A feature of the departure of the fresh recruits was that they were brothers, both being the two youngest sons of Mr. Robert Crawford, of the well-known Carbine G.M. Their names are Stanley F. Crawford and Raymond Crawford. A number of friends assembled at the station to see them off.

Immediately after enlisting, on 19th July 1915, Stanley married Myrtle Hooley.  Myrtle had been born in Wilcannia, NSW and moved with her family to Western Australia after they had tried their hand at mining at Ballarat with the Beatons.  Her father was George Hooley, who was one of the most active in searching for the little boy who was lost in 1907.  She was the best friend of James Miller Crawford’s wife, Mary Beaton.  They were married at Cottesloe where the Crawfords seem to have had a presence from 1900 to today. On his enlistment papers, Stanley has recorded his wife Myrtle as living at 12 Rowena Pde., Richmond, Melbourne and his occupation as “Mechanic” after crossing our “Battery Hand”.

Stanley and Raymond were both shipped to Melbourne for training, however Ray was discharged in January 1916 as “medically unfit”.  He states on his enrollment papers that he is 20 years old and occupation is “College Student”.  The University of Western Australia founded in 1911, didn’t accept students until 1913, so perhaps he was studying there.  It also explains why he sat for University of Adelaide exams in 1910.

The newspaper reported that on 9th September 1916, Mr. R. Crawford, of Coolgardie, received a telegram on Saturday that, his son, Stanley, had been killed in action.” Private Crawford was an amateur pedestrian* of good class, and his general characteristics compelled all to like him. The greatest sympathy is expressed for Mr. and Mrs. Crawford in their bereavement.”  [*An amateur pedestrian was an athlete; a sprinter or middle-distance runner.]

Stanley arrived in Alexandria in 1916, where he was transferred to the 48th Battalion.  This was a battalion that was at half strength, consisting of the survivors of Gallipoli. The numbers were made up with the new recruits from S.A. and W.A..After basic training with the new battalion, they sailed for France. 

Immediately upon arrival, the battalion was sent to the front to relieve Australian troops who had captured Pozieres.  They moved in to the front line on August 5th.  From the 5th to the 7th, they were shelled in what has been recorded as the most intense aerial bombardment of WW1.  He was killed in that bombardment.His death was recorded on the 7th August, however the bombing had been so intense that deaths were not recorded as they happened, but at the end, when a roll call established who was still alive.  He was one of 598 men of the 48th to die between the 5th and 7th August, and one of 4,649 men of the 4th Australian Division to die between the 5th and the 16th August.

Looking at photographs of the goldfields, stripped of vegetation and pock marked with mine shafts and piles of soil, and then at photographs of the western front, with no vegetation and craters and mounds of soil created by shelling, I am struck by the sadness and irony of Stanley losing his life on his first days at the front line.

Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Tuesday 3 October 1916, page 3

The Carbine mine furnishes another of the romances of mining. Fourteen years ago, the syndicate that held the lease came to the end of its finances, and Mr. R. Crawford secured the property. After a great struggle the mine was placed on a profit-earning basis, and today may it may be classed as one of the State's big mines. The immense ore body has been worked over a width of more than 100 ft. at the 400 ft. level, and has been proved for a length of 700 ft. Many tempting offers have been declined, Mr. Crawford and his partners being convinced that the mine is worth more to them than any company operating in this State is prepared to pay down in hard cash. The Carbine proprietors are also impressed with the pastoral possibilities of the district. They have taken up 33,000 acres of land as a pastoral lease, and at present they have a few hundred head of cattle and about 50 horses. Valera, the winner of' the last Coolgardie Cup, is owned by Mr. R. Crawford, and was bread at Carbine.


Truth (Perth, WA), Saturday 21 December 1918, page 2

Another project which has been hanging fire for months, owing to the wooden headedness and childishness of the bosses of the Water Supply Department, is the increase of the Carbine water supply. Bob Crawford. owner of the Carbine mine, rented the Government dam and shaft in order to enable him to run his mill at least, two shifts, instead of one as hitherto but, owing to the dam being dry most of the time, and the storage capacity of the shaft too small the mill continues to run one shift or less, on water from the mine shaft. Half a mile south of the Carbine, Fury and party have opened up a deposit, something like the Kanowna Cement, containing-20.000 to 25 000 tons of low-grade stone, but can do nothing with it. By spending. say L00, the water storage in the shaft could be so increased that Crawford could not only crush double the quantity of ore from the Carbine but also any odd lots Fury broke out. The Carbine mine has a lode 25ft.wide, which has produced over 30.000 tons of ore worth 55/ per ton; The continuation of this lode might be, and probably would be, found Fury's ground and even further south if an addition, to the water supply enabled the Carbine battery to assist prospectors by crushing their ore. The Water Supply Department letter files will convince the Government if it is open to conviction. that it is utterly useless appealing further to the figurehead of that utterly mismanaged and rotten department, which looks after water, or thinks it does. Why not combine the Mines and Water Supply under one Minister?


Daily News (Perth, WA), Tuesday 6 January 1920, page 3 The engagement has been announced of Miss. Emmie Doherty, second youngest 'daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Doherty, of Shenton-road, Claremont, to Mr. Ray Crawford, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Crawford, of Coolgardie.


April 1922 Mr. and Mrs. Ray Crawford, of "Dandarraga," Sandstone, have returned home after an enjoyable holiday in Perth.  A goldmine 400knm NW of Kalgoorlie

In the 1930’s Ray was at the Youanmi mine in the Murchison and in 1938 attended the Kalgoorlie Cup, so obviously kept in touch with the family on special occasions.

Meanwhile, following the death of his uncle, John Hamilton Crawford in Magherafelt (1916), Northern Ireland, and the death of both his brothers, James “Jim” in Hopeman, Scotland (1910) and John Hamilton “Jack” in Bradford, England (1906), Robert inherited the estate of his Grandfather in Magherafelt and Ballymena. 

Weekly Telegraph, Saturday March 30th 1918 (Irish Newspaper)



On Tuesday in the Chancery Division, before the Master of the Rolls, in the case of Donnelly v. Crawford, Mr. Langfield (instructed by Mr. George Wheeler) appeared for the defendant, Robert Crawford, to apply for an order making a consent a rule of Court.  It was, said counsel, the final stage of a very old action which had nearly completed its forty-second year of existence.  By an order of 31st October last his client was declared entitled to the lands of Rokeel and Lisnahirt, County Antrim, subject to two annuities.  The parties asked the Court to give leave to Robert Crawford to bring into the credit of the suit, such sum as would be sufficient, with the sum of  £171 16s 2d cash, and the proceeds of the sale of  £182 war loan stock, to pay the cost of all parties, and also the sum of  £550, which the Rev. George W. Lindsay. As executor of the late defendant, John Hamilton Crawford, an annuitant, had agreed to accept in satisfaction of his claim as executor, and that thereupon the action be dismissed.

Mr. Barrington. K.C. (instructed by Messrs. Malcolmson & Law), for the Rev Mr. Lindsay, said he was prepared to accept the £550.  Mr. M.J. Baxter (instructed by Messrs. Venables and Byers) appeared for the trustees, who had carriage of the suit.

The Court made the orders agreed upon.

This was followed by the following notice in the Irish Press:



In the Goods of ROBERT CRAWFORD. late of Carbine, in the state of western Australia, Mine Owner and Pastoralist, Deceased.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, THAT after the expiration of eight days application will be made in the Principal Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland for the sealing of the Probate of the Will of Robert Crawford, late of carbine, Western Australia, Mine Owner and Pastoralist, deceased, granted by the Supreme Court of Western Australia at Perth on the 5th Day of April, 1929.

Dated this 5th day of April, 1932.

C. & J. BLACK, Solicitors for the Applicant, David Geddie, 13, Donegall Square North, Belfast.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA : 1916 - 1938), Tuesday 9 November 1920, page 24


An excellent development is reported to have recently occurred in the Carbine mine, near Kunanalling. In the course of a report to the Mines Department on this mine Inspector Gourlay states: ----"The mill is kept going one shift from ore broken between the 400 and the 500 ft. levels. In a winze just started from the 500 ft. level, in elate formation, some very rich ore is being broken, and also from a winze being sunk from intermediate level between the 400 and 500 ft. levels. This ore is heavily charged with iron pyrites. The development below the 5oo ft. level is a most important one. It was badly wanted, for the returns for the last year have been very low. It appears to me to be a new make of ore and should add to their ore reserves considerably."


In 1921, the mine was very productive and living there were:

Carbine Postal Directory 1921 Western Australia Approx. 75 kms north of Coolgardie

BEATON Walter, BRAY Robert, CARSON R. –miner, CHIRGWIN Nicholas –engine Driver, CRAWFORD James M. – mine owner, CRAWFORD Robert – storekeeper and post master

CUNNINGHAM Thomas – miner, DAVIES W. –miner, FRAZER Patrick –miner, FREARS J.A. –miner, FUREY Patrick –mine owner, HALFORD Aubrey S, cattle drover, HALFORD William C. –cattle drover, HAMILTON William –miner, HARDING William, ISLES Julia, JONASSON, JURY William –miner, McKENNA J. –miner, McLEAN Alexander –blacksmith, MORAN James –Carbine Hotel, MORAN Peter –miner, MULLINS J.J., NAIRN Andrews –engineer, PADY H. –mine owner, PIMLEY Frederick –mine owner, READ John –miner, SUTHERLAND R. –miner

WALLACE Joseph –miner, WILDE John, WILDE Thomas


Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), Tuesday 22 February 1921, page 6


The good development recently reported in the Carbine Gold Mine, about 20 miles north of Coolgardie, is being, maintained. During the past few weeks exceptionally, rich ore has been struck in driving at the 400 ft. level, a single specimen obtained after firing out containing about 120 oz. of gold. There appears to be a good prospect of the values living down.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA : 1916 - 1938), Tuesday 25 April 1922, page 3


Our Ora Banda correspondent writes: -It is reported here that at Messrs. Crawford and Pimley's Carbine mine the month's clean-up was 1935 ounces of smelted gold; a phenomenally rich patch of gold having been struck.  About twelve months ago a similar rich strike was made. The general average of the Carbine mine is low grade, but from time to time these rich patches are met with, materially increasing the mine's gold output and raising the ore grade.


Weekly Judge (Perth, WA), Friday 24 October 1924, page 4 Mr. R. Crawford has sent his Piquet—Liafail mare Motherland, to be mated with Contino. Motherland injured one of her legs in the rolling pit at Kalgoorlie just as the recent carnival commenced, and although withdrawn from her Kalgoorlie engagements hopes were entertained that she would have recovered in time for the Boulder meetings. However, when put into work she broke down very badly and her owner decided to send her to the stud.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), Tuesday 21 April 1925, page 8

MINE-OWNER'S VIEWS EVIDENCE BY MR. CRAWFORD. Giving evidence before the Royal Commission Wednesday, Robert Crawford, mine owner, Kunanalling, Coolgardie, said: I have been a mine manager and owner for a period of over thirty years, the whole of which time has been spent in the Coolgardie and Kunanalling district of Western Australia. The name of the property in which with my family is our absolute property is the Great Carbine mine. If the gold bonus were granted, we would be able to bring into the payable zone thousands of tons of ore which, owing to the economic conditions at present running, are unpayable. A £1 per ounce bonus on standard gold produced would in my opinion allow of 6 dwt. per ton ore being treated where there are large lodes, such as are available in the Coolgardie district, according to official figures compiled by the Mines Department of Western Australia and published by them in October, 1923. There were-209 gold mining leases abandoned in the Coolgardie district from which 248,401 ounces of fine gold had been recovered from 380.056 tons crushed. These leases are scattered throughout the district at such well-known centres as Bonnievale, Burbanks. Coolgardie, Higginsviile, Red Hill etc. The Kunanalling district had 126 abandoned leases from which 100,761 ounces of gold had been won from 99,838 tons of ore crushed. I believe a large number of these leases would be reopened and permanently worked if the proposed gold bonus were granted by the Federal Government. The loss of capital and revenue from public utilities would be extremely heavy it the gold mining industry were allowed to die. I believe that the total cash investment in railways, water supplies, telegraph services, public buildings, etc. on the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia amounts is over £8,000,000. The granting of the gold bonus would allow this investment to be revenue producing instead of a, capital loss as will otherwise be the case. The continuation of mining operations on the Western Australian goldfields is fostering the opening up of the country for pastoral and, in many parts, agricultural purposes. The greater the goldfields population the greater the local market for agricultural products. In my opinion very extensive sheep stations will in due course be established throughout the goldfields areas. Farming is gradually approaching the goldfields. Much ground has been taken up for agricultural purposes as far east as Southern Cross, and I believe dry farming, with suitable types of wheat to withstand the special local conditions and rainfall is well within the scope of possibility. The maintenance of a vigorous mining industry is all important to the development of this portion of the Commonwealth. In conclusion, I wish to support in their entirety the case for a gold bonus as submitted on behalf of the Chamber of Mines by the President, Mr. Richard Hamilton, as also the facts as originally placed before the Commission by Mr. F. Roy Lee


Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 1 May 1927, page 9

It is satisfactory to note that the Carbine mine, at Carbine, about 40 miles north from Coolgardie, is practically in full work again. The mine | had to close down some time before the big rains of last month, owing to the water supply becoming exhausted.

This mine has been a big gold producer, and promises to be so for a long time yet. The village of Carbine embraces a well conducted hotel, store, post office, and a public hall.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), Tuesday 13 September 1927, page 14

On Tuesday last Mr., and Mrs. Robert Crawford, of Carbine, entertained a party of friends, who motored out from Kalgoorlie for toe day. The visitors arrived in time for lunch at the homestead and during the afternoon had a run over the surrounding country, which is looking particularly well with grass and wild flowers after the rains. After afternoon tea the party returned to Kalgoorlie, having seen the possibilities of the district for pastoral purposes. The visitors included Mr. and Mrs. Kim Forest, Mr. and Mrs. Egerton-Warburton, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Curlewis, Mr. Bhenton and Mr. Crellin.

Robert died suddenly of heart failure at Carbine on 25th November 1928 described in the probate as mine owner and pastoralist.  Jim was the executor and sole beneficiary of the estate on which duty was paid of £126-11-10p.  Just days before he died it was reported that:

Muswellbrook Chronicle (NSW), Friday 16 November 1928, page 1 (2) Looking Forward. -One of the best privately-owned mines near Coolgardie (W.A.) is the Carbine, from which nearly £160,000 worth of gold has been won; and the little show is still on the producing list. "Bob" Crawford, its present owner, has taken up a large pastoral area near the Carbine, thus providing for the inevitable time when the mine peters out.

In today’s money, the mine had earned around $A18m. That was over a long period of time, and doesn’t include the expenditure on plant and equipment and wages.  It also doesn’t account for the money Robert provided for his family in Melbourne.  There he purchased a house in Mont Albert for his wife and children and paid for the education and University education of his sons.

Daily News (Perth, WA), Monday 26 November 1928, page 4

The death occurred at Carbine yesterday afternoon, states a message from Kalgoorlie, of Mr. Robert Crawford, at the age of 73. He was one of the best-known mining men on the goldfields, and was also a prominent pastoralist, having a large grazing lease near the famous Carbine gold-mining area, which he developed. The late Mr. Crawford was also an enthusiastic sportsman, and was a Kalgoorlie Race Club. He was at the club's meeting on Saturday-afternoon and appeared to be in good health, but yesterday morning he consulted a doctor, whom he left at 11 a.m. After a couple of hours motoring, he arrived home, but he was hardly there before he collapsed and died. For many years the late Mr. Crawford has been a popular figure on the goldfields and in the city. He had always taken a keen Interest in public affairs, and was a member of the Coolgardie Road Board.


KALGOORLIE, Nov. 25— Mr. Robert Crawford was taken with a sudden seizure this afternoon at Carbine, and died. He successful man, who developed the famous lease at Carbine, where he had resided for many years. He was also a pastoralist and the occupant of a large grazing lease in the same district. He was a man who took a great interest in public activities for the benefit of the goldfields, and was an active member of the Coolgardie Road Board. He was well known in racing circles.

Mr. Crawford was present at the race meeting held yesterday by the Kalgoorlie Race Club, of which body be was a member. He was then apparently in the best of health. He stayed in Kalgoorlie over last night, and this. morning he went out to Boulder and had a consultation with Dr. Irwin on the state of his health. Leaving Kalgoorlie at 11 o'clock, he reached home between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. He placed his motor car in a shed, walked to his house, then, collapsed suddenly and died within 10 minutes* The late Mr. Crawford left two sons and a daughter.  He was 73 years of: age.

Robert’s death was significant enough to be reported in the Perth press.  It is significant that they referred to his contribution to “public activities for the benefit of the goldfields”.

West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Monday 26 November 1928, page 12


KALGOORLIE, Nov. 25— Mr. Robert Crawford was taken with a sudden seizure this afternoon at Carbine, and died. He successful man, who developed the famous lease at Carbine, where he had resided for many years. He was also a pastoralist and the occupant of a large grazing lease in the same district. He was a man who took a great interest in public activities for the benefit of the goldfields, and was an active member of the Coolgardie Road Board. He was well known in racing circles.  Mr. Crawford was present at the race meeting held yesterday by the Kalgoorlie Race Club; of which body he was a member. He was then apparently in the best of health. He stayed in Kalgoorlie over last night, and this morning he went out to Boulder and had a consultation with Dr. Irwin on the state of his health. Leaving Kalgoorlie at 11 o'clock, he reached home between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. He placed his motor car in a shed, walked to his house, then, collapsed suddenly and died within 10 minutes. The late Mr. Crawford left two sons and a daughter. He was 73 years of: age.


Kalgoorlie Miner (WA : 1895 - 1954), Monday 26 November 1928, page 4

FUNERAL NOTICES CRAWFORD. - The friends of Mrs. R. Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. James Crawford. Raymond and Dorothy, of Carbine, via Coolgardie, are respectfully notified that the remains of their late dearly beloved husband, father and father-in-law, respectively (Robert Crawford) will be removed from W. Strothers Private Mortuary, 18 Hannan street. Kalgoorlie, TO-MORROW (Tuesday) AFTERNOON, at 2 p.m., for interment in the Anglican Portion of the Kalgoorlie Cemetery— W. Strother Undertaker.

His contribution to the community was significant in both Kerang and the W.A. Goldfields and his funeral appears to have been one of the most significant in Kalgoorlie.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), Tuesday 4 December 1928, page 18

Funeral of the Late Mr. R. Crawford.-The esteem and regard in which the late Mr. Robert Crawford,. mine owner and pastoralist of Carbine was held by the people of the eastern goldfields was marked by an extremely lengthy procession of mourners who took part in the general ceremony Tuesday. The cortege, which was nearly half a mile in length, moved from Strothers' private mortuary in Hannan-street, to the place of interment in the Church of England portion of the Kalgoorlie General Cemetery. There were representatives of the local governing bodies, together with leading mining, commercial and professional men. Coolgardie, Carbine and Kunanalling were represented. The principal mourners were the deceased 2 two sons, Messrs. James and Raymond Crawford, and Mr. PimIey, his partner for many years. The pall-bearers were as follows:--Kalgoorlie Racing Club, Cr. .E. E. Brimage and Mr. Thos. Rintoul; Coolgardie Roads Board, Messrs; Ferguson (chairman) and W. M. Faahan; Carbine residents, Mr. H Beadon, and Kumanalling residents, Mr. C. Ware. The service at the graveside was impressively read by Ven. Archdeacon Brewis who afterwards gave a brief address in which he spoke highly of the good qualities of the deceased. The Kalgoorlie Municipality was represen-ted at the: graveside by the Mayor, Mr. B. Leslie and the Boulder Municipality by the Mayor, Mr G H. Rainsford and the town clerk, Mr, H. J. Edwards, and the Kalgoorhie Roads Board by the secretary, Mr. T. C. Simpson. The deceased, who was 73 years of age at the time of his death, was a native of Geelong, Victoria. Two of his sons by his first wife are members of the medical profession and one of them is practicing in Queensland.


Several months after Robert’s death, his partner, Mary Jane and daughter, Dorothy left the goldfields to live in Perth.

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), Tuesday 8 January 1929, page 14

Mrs. R. Crawford and Miss Dorothy Crawford, of Carbine, left by Wednesday evening's express for the coast.


Even after his death, he appears to have still had a presence in the district.

The Daily News (Perth, WA) Mon 17 Jun 1929 Page 4 SPORT and SPORTSMEN


A strapping colt by Easingwold from Motherland has been taken in hand by W. Marks. He was bred by the late Mr. Crawford at -Carbine near Coolgardie. The colt has been named Colonist. His dam was a good performer. She was by Piquet from the Pistol mare Liafail, who produced that speedy South Australian performer Merab. Marks says that Colonist gives a good deal of promise, and that he is built much on the same lines as his sire though of different color, being a bay.


Lake Grace Newdegate Cultivator and Dumbleyung and Kukerin Producer (WA), Monday 24 June 1929, page 3 An Easingwold Colt. A strapping colt by Easingwold from Motherland has been taken in hand by W. Marks. He was bred by the late. Mr. Crawford at. Carbine near Coolgardie. The colt has-been named Colonist.  His dam was a good performer. She is by Piquet from the Pistol mare Fiafail who produced the speedy South Australian performer Merab. Marks says that Colonist gives a good deal; of promise.

Daily News (Perth, WA), Thursday 29 June 1933, page 6


Carbine Option

Sir, — In 'The Daily News' of June 22 it is stated that the Carbine Option has been a producer for 25 years. This should have been 39 years. I wish the old mine to get all the credit that is due to it, and I know the facts because I have the early records by me at present. The mine had a checkered career until the late Mr. Bob Crawford, his son Jim, and Frank Pimley came into possession. They opened it up with a thorough system and every bit of ore broken has gone through the up to date plant they erected. The mine has kept a little township going for nearly 40 years. My firm belief is that she will still give a good account of herself. — Yours, etc., JIM THOMPSON. Violet-street, Perth.


Following is a detailed account of the search for a child who wandered away from Carbine in 1907.  There are also two detailed histories of  Kunanulling and Carbine which feature regular mention of the Crawfords.

Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA), Sunday 25 August 1907, page 9

THE QUEST THAT FAILED. — , ..... ... — — - — ..-


the Searchers Rolled Up. — Sleeping Without Blankets. -Johnsons Dog, — No Delay Once the Tracker Arrived. — The Native's Skill and Patience. — How Long Did Child live? -Beating a

Four-Mile Radius In Close Formation. — " We Might have Found a Needle," — "I Don't Know What to Think."— A Story of Heartbreaking Pathos, Noble Effort— And Cruel luck.

" I never saw better bushmanship. I never saw harder work. I never saw worse luck." It was Manager Crawford, of the Carbine mine, where the lost child strayed from — Manager Crawford, the heart and soul and staff, the support and encouragement of the search party— who spoke. The manager is grey and Scotch and unemotional, but more than once his voice went near to breaking as he told the story of the fruitless quest after the little child — the heartbreaking story that has brought tears to so many eyes since last Sunday fortnight — as he told it in "The Sun" office on Wednesday. And if the tears were near his eyes, they were no further from those of his auditors. Tears, aye: — " Tears from the depths of some divine despair rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes in thinking of the days that are no more. 0 Death in Life, the days that are no more." They were the little one's days. " When we saw, through the, black tracker's eyes, how that little fellow battled for his life." said the manager brokenly," that tiny child of. twenty-seven months old — well, it broke us up. If I hadn't seen the tracks, I wouldn't have believed a child -could travel so far. But he did it; we that were there know he did it." "He was a splendidly-nourished, well-looked-after child. he weighed quite three stone. He was kept clean and well — none better in the district. When his step-mother first missed him, she thought he might be with his father, a quarter of a mile away. She found he wasn't there. Then the hue and cry started, and the men rolled up. I told the men on the Carbine that all the searchers in the district were wanted, and that those who didn't want to search could have a holiday. Nobody wanted a holiday. Nobody but joined the search party. The man-ager went on to tell how the searchers gathered and how they labored — one keen hope animating them all. Every mine in the district, every prospecting show, ceased operations; even the dryblowing stopped. Every soul in those remote and isolated camps came out. The first thought was that the child might have fallen down an abandoned shaft; but with-in the first two days every shaft and pot hole in the vicinity had been examined and plumbed, the deeper with kerosene tow lines. The mines were left at a standstill; the men gave up £200 at least, in wages. It wasn't till eight days after the first alarm was given — not till all possible hope of finding the child alive had vanished— that the Carbine South, run by option-holders to whom every day was valuable, resumed work. On Thurs-day week, three days later, the Carbine started to unwater their shafts again, but few of the miners returned that day, and few of those who did come back were fit to work at once. They came back footsore and beat, and heartsick with disappointment.  Men went to the search without even blankets, thinking it was a question of hours at most. When it came to a question of days and nights, they slept without blankets, till their equipment was augmented, sooner than leave the tracks for an hour. I saw four men, said the man-ager, trying to sleep under one rug on the second night out. Later on, we were better fixed up. And then came an illustrative story, a small thing in itself, but characteristic of the spirit and the determination displayed.  On Tuesday night, rest as darkness set in, Johnsons dog (a half-bred setter or spaniel) made a "set" crossing one of the bush tracks. His owner stopped near the place all night. We found the little footprints there at daybreak. It saved the tracker making a Iong cast.

There is nothing in the kidnapping story. It started, I think, because a sandalwooder had been shifting camp, and the tracks of his cart lay across the course the child had taken." It was that that made the father think of the possibility or kidnapping. And there was no de-lay in putting on the tracker. He arrived at Kunanalling at 11 on Tuesday morning, He was at the Carbine at 2, and he got to work straight away. If there was any delay it was at Kalgoorlie. The message asking for help came in at midnight, but he didn't leave till the next morning. I know it was raining here, but we thought some time could have been saved. Even a few hours may mean everything when a child's life is at stake. I never saw a tracker work, though like that native did. He found tracks the first night by an acetylene lamp, and convinced us that they were the marks of the child's sandals. He never lost heart. Unlike the ordinary tracker, he worked baldest when he was at fault. And the men waited on him, as eager and intent as men could wait. There was a dingo following the tracks the second day." — "How long did the child live? Four or five days, we think, from what we saw and what we reasoned. He must have travelled at least eight miles the first day, returning loop-wise and sleeping the first night within a mile and a half of his own home. The second day he went six miles to the south-west, almost as straight as you could fire a gun. The third day he turned to the south. and there he seems to have vanished. The point where the tracks were finally lost, and where no ingenuity could pick them up again, was only six miles as the crow flies, from the Carbine mine. When tracking failed, as a last resource the men were marshalled in close formation and quartered the bush over a four-mile radius from that centre like pointers quarter a turnip.

What do I think?  ! don't know I what to think. If the dingoes or the eaglehawks had got him, it is almost impossible to believe that traces would not have been left. Apart from that, there are two possibilities. He might have got outside the four-mile radius, though it is hardly conceivable, that a child of two could have travelled over 20 miles without food or water. Or, his remains may be inside it still. Where so many were searching every yard of ground systematically, there was a possibility that one.more hurried or less careful or less careful than the rest, might overlook something— even the smallest bush or clump of un-der growth might hold the key of the mystery. But I never saw men work like the searchers did. I never watched better tracking. I never knew worse luck. A record of noble work— none the less noble because resultless. A story of unutterable pathos, to wring the heart strings, to blur the paper of the writer and dim the reader's eyes. But still, as we write, the bush preserves the secret of the little child's fate— the silent, imperturbable, passive, in-scrutable bush.


Harry Ware who lived at Coolgardie wrote this history of “Carbine” in January 1971 and the following history of Kunanalling.



SEPTEMBER 1894*****************  DECEMBER 1970

FORWARD  This paper, written as a HISTORY OF CARBINE, from its discovery to the present day, will include the names of quite a few people.  The names of CRAWFORD and PIMLEY appear in this paper from 1902 till 1945.  The originals of this partnership were ROBERT CRAWFORD, his son, JAMES MILLER CRAWFORD. and FRANK PIMLEY.  Robert Crawford died at Carbine in 1828 and Frank Pimley died at Carbine in 1937, and his son, also Frank Pimley, carried on his father’s estate. Following J.M. Crawford’s death at Kunnanalling in 1942, his older son Robert James Crawford, with his mother became a shareholder, and about 1945 R.J.Crawford and his mother, bought the interest held by Frank Pimley.  At a later date R.J.Crawford took his second son, Kenneth, as a partner in Carbine, and Kenneth  Crawford’s sons (infants) were the fifth generation of the family to live at Carbine.The Crawford family left Carbine in December 1970 following the sale of CARBINE STATION to Mr. Wolfgang GENTSCH.

In September, 1894, JAMES GAFFNEY, JAMES THOMPSON, and JOHN (Carbine) SMITH, whilst enroute from THE WEALTH OF NATIONS (Dunnesville) to Carnage, and on September 19th they applied for a Gold Mining Lease at the MInes Department at Coolgardie.  The lease was named “CARBINE” and the number was 33s, in the Kunanalling District of the Coolgardie Goldfield.  It is claimed that the “CARBINE” has been held continuously for a longer period than any other G>M>L> in the Coolgardie Goldfield.  It is not known whether the first finding was alluvial gold or specimen stone, nor is there early production records known to the writer.  Records at the Mines Department show that the “CARBINE” changed ownership in its early years, the names of John Hunter Patterson and Daniel Harvey Patterson appearing as owners, and later, Charles Clark and John Thomas Glowery were registered as owners.

In July 1902 Messers CRAWFORD & PIMLEY, of Kintore, acquired the “CARBINE”, and from this time onward progress seemed to be steady and production regular.  The new owners, now established at the mine, erected a treatment plant on the lease, and developed the mine for a future.Some very rich patches of gold were obtained in addition to average grade milling ore, and the original plant was replaced by a heavier one in 1915.  Domestic and boiler water was obtained from the Government Dam, a couple of miles away, and from dams sunk on catchment areas close to the mine.  Salt water for ore treatment was pumped from a well located, ironically, from Rowles Lagoon, about six miles distant.  Other leases held and worked in the early days, adjacent to the “CARBINE” were the Carbine South, which was equipped with machinery, the Nordenfeldt, Nordenfeldt North, the Globe, the Grafter, and the Spearmint.  The necessary workforce made up the population for a small township.  The cessation of activities on other holdings reduced the numbers, certainly, but the “carbine” maintained a regular number of employees for many years, and during the mining boom of the 1930s a Public Company, Carbine Gold Mines was formed and held an option of purchase over the “Carbine”.  The option was never exercised, and until its closure owing to wartime labour shortage, the “Carbine” was worked on a tribute basis.


The township of Carbine was never more than that – a township.  In addition to the scattered dwellings and single men’s camp, the only street was occupied on one side only, but was neat and tidy with the hotel and a residence, a public hall, and Mr Robert Crawford’s residence and general store and bakery, all on the southern side.  The recreation ground occupied the area between the street and the mine, the poppet head and battery buildings being conspicuous on top of a hill on the northern side.  The hall had been originally at Black Flag, and was the venue for social functions, including roller skating when that was a popular pastime.  It is probable that the hall was also used as a part-time school in the early times, when the teacher from Ora Banda 12 miles away, divided his time between the two places.  It was certainly used for this purpose in later years when private tuition was provided. Crawford’s store and bakery was transferred from Kintore, and the hotel came from Carnage, and was owned by the Moran family.  Mrs. Isles was the first licensee, and was a resident of Carbine for about fifty years, but the hotel was more often conducted by some member of the Moran family, and the late Jim Moran, for many years a publican in Wagin, started his career in the Carbine Hotel.  Mr. and Mrs. Wallace (nee Molly Moran) and Mrs. Parry (nee Ella Moran) held the license at different times as also did Robert Sutherland and Hughie Beaton.  Activity in the area surrounding Carbine, including Dunne’s 8-mile, Balgari, Carnage and Chadwin, combined to make a population of about two hundred, but with the years, Carbine became more isolated.  A very popular event at Carbine for many years was the Carbine Sports.  An annual eventusually held in May, the Sports was “The Melbourne Cup” of the district, which few would miss attending.  In addition to novelty events the programme provided for two foot races, the Sheffield Handicap and the Ladies Bracelet.  The Carbine Mile and Kunanalling Mile for trotters and a Flag and Barrel race for hacks, followed by a ball at night.  To use an expression – this was when the Carbine people really turned it on.  Carbine ceased to be a town following the closure of the mine during the war years, the hotel having been dismantled and the hall re-erected as an amenities hall, near Mr. Bob Crawford’s homestead.


Records from the Department of Lands and Surveys show that the first PastoralLease in the Carbine area was registered in the name of W.W. Lee: A.R. Whitchurch : L.L. Clayton and C. Clifton.  This lease was cancelled in February, 1904 and in July, 1906 a similar area, surrounding the townsite, was registered to W.H. Halford and Sons.  This lease was also canceled in 1907, and the next lease in the area was Robert Crawford, James Miller Crawford and Frank Pimley, and as from 1st July 1912, this lease No. 1189/94 has been held as Carbine Station, continuously, and so – a station was founded.  Pastoral leases around Kunanalling, granted in 1900, were later transferred to Geo. Bounsell, and were subsequently transferred to Crawford & Pimley, when Bounsell left the district about 1927.  Carbine Station homestead is adjacent to the Carbine Mine, and is on the Carbine townsite, and is approximately 38 miles north-westerly of Coolgardie.  Somewhat irregular in shape the station is virtually in two sections – the original holding around Carbine and later acquisitions around Kunanulling, 18 miles southerly.  Credo Homestead is the closest neighbour, about 6miles to the west, Mt Carnage station bounds it to the north, Black Flag on the east and Mt Burgess on the south.  Of about 125,000 acres in area, carbine is a small holding, and is watered mainly by dams.  It’s early development was buy horse and scoop – before tractors and bulldozers – and many of the dams still in use, originated from weeks of work by this method.  With many horses in use, Crawford and Pimley showed early enterprise by growing hay, and many good crops were cut from the cultivation paddock, a mile to the west of the homestead.  Originally stocked with cattle, sheep were introduced about 1925, with suitable yards and shearing facilities following as the sheep numbers increased.  With the passing of the years, and the passing of the original members of the firm, their sons became the operative principals of Carbine Station.  In 1945 Carbine Station became the property of the Crawford family, when Mrs. Crawford and her elder son, Robert James Crawford, acquired the interest held by Frank Pimley.

Sheep were now a valuable asset, and under careful management by Mr. Bob Crawford (for M.A. Crawford & Son) Carbine was developed to a maximum carrying capacity, and for years carbine regularly shore 7,000 to 8,000 sheep.  A modern shearing shed replaced the original one, and modern machinery established new water supplies and maintained existing ones, ensuring provision for a regular wool clip.  Apart from a few milking cows, cattle had given way to sheep, and motor bikes were “mustering mounts”, replacing the horses, as is the modern trend.  The business title was again changed to R.J. Crawford & Son, when Mr. Ken Crawford became a partner with his father. 

With a name like “CARBINE”, it would be surprising if race horses did not come into the picture.  Mr. Robert Crawford and Mr. J.M. Crawford were both keen racing men, and Carbine had its race horses.  Old timers will recall the names of VALHAND : LADY VALHAND ; JOLANA ; JOLANA BOY ; and MOTHERLAND, this last being a Coolgardie Cup winner, as being Carbine horses.

CARBINE ***** The mine produced good gold *** The station produced lots of wool  888 and people who knew carbine will recall a fine spirit of goodwill and good-fellowship by those who made up CARBINE.


Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Wednesday 23 June 1954, page 7



Situated right on the old "90 mile" road, about 20 miles north-westerly of Coolgardie, is the now deserted townsite of Kunanalling, or, as it was known originally, the "25 Mile." It dates back to "1893 — the very early days of these goldfields.

Records at the office of the Mines Departemnt, Coolgar die. show that the original gold mining lease applied for at Kunanalling was the True Blue, located about two miles easterly of the townsite, and was pegged out by John Dunne and Alexander Forrest, on November 20, 1893. They were apparently operating for the Lone Hand Mining Co. Other leases applied for about the same time were the Lone Hand, the Sunbeam, the Premier, the Brevier, the Miner's Dream, the Daddy, the Sovereign and Blackett's Brilliant. All were registered prior to January. 1, 1894. but these form jonly a small portion of the" extensive line of leases in the Kunanalling group which extends from the Star of Fremantle on the eastern end of the field to the London, Kia-Ora and Goulburn group to the west, a distance of approximately eight miles. It is not difficult to understand that such a long line of gold bearing country provided support for a considerable population, and in addition, Kunanalling was the centre for other areas such as Dunnesville, Jourdie Hills, Carbine, Kintore <The Cement) and "Balgari," There were post and telegraph and police facilities, a coaching stage for Cobb and Co., on the daily run to the "90" mile," plus the usual general stores, bakery, butchers shop, etc., and three hotels. Public crushing facilities were also available. It is desired to deal with the mining record firstly, and it is unquestionable that Kunanalling made a very considerable contribution, to the Eastern Goldfields. Following the flush period of the first eight or 10 years, when mining companies were active h in the district, it seemed to settle down to a steady production by prospectors, who maintained the town at a regular population. until the late 1920's, The mining boom following the depression of 1930-31 brightened the place up to some extent, but it was not sustained, and the war years saw it gradually decline to its present state of desertion. The big motor trucks engaged in the carrying of ore from the CalHon mine at Davyhurst to the treatment plant at Coolgardie, roar through what was once the main street, a striking contrast to the teams and coaches of Cobb and Co.'s days. Premier Mine From a geological point of view, Kunanalling is on the division, of the graulte and greenstone, with the ore bodies in the latter. It could claim little importance as an alluvial field, although the Premier gully was a good one, with Proctor's gully and Rankins and Dead Bird gullies playing their part. The Premier was by far the biggest mine and was equipped with 25 head of stamps, a big cyanide leaching plant, and a filter-press plant for slimes treatment. It was worked to approximately 40o feet, and operations on a large scale ceased by 1904, although tribute parties continued minim for some time after. Five head of the Premier battery was available for the treatment of public crushings. It was managed for many years by Captain Benjamin Bryant, and later by Mr. F. L. Thomas. It was No. 4 lease pegged n the district, and is included in leases applied for by Dunne and Forrest. Its discovery has been credited to several prominent prospectors including Frost, Cashman, Carr-Boyd, Mercer and Cutmore, and was the subject of considerable litigation. The Premier company also operated the Premier South and the consolidated, which were adjoining, and the Emu, about a male to the west. Mr. Bob Suitor was an early manager on the. Emu. One of the deepest mines in the district is the Blackett's Brilliant, or as it was later and better known as Blackett's Eureka. Worked to a depth of 500 ft., it was equipped with a 10-head battery, and foUowing the cessation of company activities, it was acquired by Mr. F. W. Bow (now of Esperance) who also provided public crushing facilities.. Like the Premier, it closed down in the early 1900's but,' as Kunanalling Gold Mines, was the main mine in production in the "boom of the 1930's. • The syndicate which operated the Miner's Dream, and Brevier, had a 10-head battery and also treated public ore in the very early days. It is worth recalling that one of this party, Mr. Joe Galvin, ad an historic association with Coolgardie, being the first compositor of the original 'Coolgardie Miner" the first aper on the goldfields. At the Star of Fremantle Mr. W. H. Pearce erected a 10-head battery, which was brought from the North Burgess mine near Bonnievale. Kunanalling Gold Mines acquired the mine and plant from Mr. Pearce, and, under the management of Mr. J. Hill, ore from Blackett's was treated there. The Shamrock was another mine equipped with a five head battery; Found by Harry Outridge, who had as partners Robert Sutherland and later W. H. Hunter, it was a consistent producer an 3 probably had 'the longest continuous period of operation Of toy" mine in the district, a matter of about 20 yeart. The adjoining lease, the Hopeful was found and worked by Messrs. Millar and O'Couner but for a considerably lesser period. A big ore body was developed on the. Catherwood, but dt never was a consistent producer. Several rich patches were obtained adjacent to the Catherwood. the well-known prospector Mr, Mickey Larkin and his partner, Mr. Jack Dwyer, being successful on the eastern end. whilst three ladies, Mesdames Kelly and Fox and Miss Ada Mathews, loamed for quite a rich patch to the south. They were enthusiastic and competent, and had more than this one find to their credit. Naturally they employed labour to do the necessary mining but the lad ies did the surface loading. Loaming-It was about this period, the mid 1920's, that loaming was becoming the accepted practice generally, and Mr. Bob Bray applied this method when he located the Nick of Time. After working it for a short time with Mr. Jim Nicholls, the mine was sold to Messrs. Kelly and Fox, who obtained a fair tonnage of high-grade battery ore in addition to several rich patches Four miles away to the east! Messrs. Tom and Edwin Pearce found and worked a similar make of ore on the Brittania, some specimens of which were taken to the Wembly Exhibition in London. A feature of both these holdings was a graphitic formation which can be "traced for miles along the hills at Kunanalling, and along which at several places, small patches were obtained, particularly in Quigley's, Page's and the Lone Hand gullies. Among other shows on the line that produced only a small tonnage, was the Ruby May, found by Charles Renwick in 1896, and which, when held-by Messrs. Hunting, Bewick and Chadwick, produced one parcel of 112 tons for a return of 524 oz. Later it produced several large parcels of somewhat lower grade ore. The Sydney Mint, about a mile west of the London, was also a consistent producer of good grade ore, a specimen of which was bought by the West Australian Government and presented to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, now the Duke of Windsor, when on his Australian tour in 1920. Messrs. John de Gracie and George Sheedy were working the Mint at that time. It had been held earlier by a man named Berlina, but it is not known if he was the finder. Disagreement As already stated, the True Elue was No. I lease at Kunanalling, and about 1904 it was held by Messrs. Jack Thomasini, George Taft and Heron. Disagreement in the partnership resulted in Thomasini and Heron selling out to Martin Brandt and Jack Fitzgerald, and shortly afterwards Taft, who was a stumbling block to his new partners, sold out to Charles Ware. The lease was renamed the Blue Bell, and about a year later a five head battery was erected on it. Public ore was treated and a few years later, when owned entirely by C. H. Ware, it was the only public crushing plant in the district, and continued to operate as such until 1928. In the 23 years of operation, the Blue Bell battery treated approximately 23,000 tons of ore for an equal number of ounces of gold, a fair record for any district, particularly in view of the fact that Kunanalling has no big soft lodes, such as are a feature of some districts. Messrs. Ware and partners crushed more than 2000 tons from the Blue Bell before hard ground and water made expenses too high. On the adjoining lease, the Nil Desperandum, Norman Robertson and Charlie Mutzic, in a hectic seven months from January to July, 1805, recovered 2«0 oz. from 97 tons. In addition to this they dollied specimens for a yield of 400 oz. Late in 1911, whilst cutting wood for the Blue Bell battery, Jack de Gracie, an observant prospector, found rich floaters about a mile south of the Blue Bell. This led to the discovery of the Sadie and the Turn of the Tide adjoining it on the north, this latter being found by Webb Dwyer- and Fred Thomas. Jack de. Gracie took his brother: George < in as a partner, and several fair-sized parcels of good value were obtained. Dwyer and Thomas also mined high grade ore. Options were let on both leases to the Associated Northern Company. However, the options were not exercised and Jack de Gracie sold his interest to Syd. Kelly, who. together with George de Gracie, worked the Sadie to below 200 ft. by hand labour in very hard sulphide quartz. The mine produced more than 2000 tons of better than ounce ore, exclusive of the tonnage produced by the Golden West Co., which operated it in the mid 1930's. The Turn of the Tide was again under option in 1918 to the Golden Gate Syndicate, and was equipped with a steam compressor and hauling plant. Again, the option fell through, and Stephen Keele, of Coolgardie, acquired the interest of Fred Thomas. Dwyer eventually bought out Keele and continued to work the mine with a wages man. Worked to a depth of over 500 ft., the Turn of the Tide was probably the best privately owned mine in Kunanalling. As was the case all over the fields in the late 1920's, prospecting gave way to sandalwood in Kunanalling. Then with the increase in the price of gold in the '30's, fast motor transport, and cartage rebates to Government batteries, etc. Kunanalling had its share of prospectors who took their ore to the State batteries at Ora Banda or Coolgardie, First Township The first township was a shanty town located near the two condensers which provided the water supply, and was adjacent to the present Government dam. . The surveyed townsite was a mile to the north, and had four streets, namely Balfour, Chamberlain, Gladstone and Salisbury. Buildings included a large post and telegraph office and quarters, a police station and courthouse and quarters, a school and residence, a Mechanics' Institute, all built and occupied by 1897, three stores, two bakeries, a butchery, a tobacconist and newsagency, and at that time, two hotels. The first postmaster was named Jones, and Jerry Lyons was the first police constable. He came from Black Flag, as also aid Sergeant Brown. Mrs. Mac Ginniss was the first school mistress, and taught in her private residence until the school was completed. The first families at that school included Bounsels, Budd, Freidlanders, Thomas and Suitors. The assistant teacher. Miss Pombart, later became bead teacher. A man named McDonald built a large store, and following his death by fire in the Denver City Hotel disaster in Coolgardie, the store was run by a Mr. Messer, and later still by Mr. George Jackson, who earned a great reputation in the district as one who supported and encouraged •prospectors who were having a run of bad luck. Following Mr. Jackson's departure to the wheat belt in about 1910, Mr. Charlie Wright, who had been employed in the store after reaching school leaving age, carried on the business for many years. Prior to 1900 a family named Dougal transferred & business from Dunnesville to. Kunanalling. Arthur Herbert later acquired the store, and Alec Seagram and Jim Doyle also were in business. Sam Bounsell, from Black Flag, set up in business as a tobacconist and newsagent at Kunanalling in 1896, and about the same time Brogan and Mathews, also from Black Flag, started a butcher shop. A butcher shop had been established earlier by Alf Boys (or Boyes) Mr. George Bounsell, one of the original scholars of the Kunanalling school, served his apprenticeship with Brogan and Mathews, and a few years later acquired the business together with a pastoral holding, and carried on until the late 1920's, when Messrs. Crawford and Pimley, of Carbine, bought the pastoral interest and the-butcher shop was closed. In addition to the first baker, a- German named Louis, Hunter Bros, had a bakery, a 8 also did Mr. Jack Messer, and George Jackson. The 25 Mile Hotel, a wood and. iron building, right on the main corner was owned and conducted by Mr. Ereidlander, whilst the Royal Hotel was owned by Messrs. Williams and Cummins (the latter of Kalgoorlie Brewery fame). Mr. Fred Bow, who had mining and carrying interests in the district, built the Premier Hotel, a beautiful brick and stone building, in 1901, and a few years later bought the other two hotels, which were later closed. A few years prior to its closing in 1942, the Premier Hotel was bought by Mr. Jim Crawford of Carbine. Mr. Jack MacGinniss, a very early day resident, was a general carrier in the district, as also was Mr. Jim Doyle, and later Mr. John Thompson, who in addition to his carrying business, held a pastoral run, and regularly sewed a crop in a cultivation paddock adjacent to the Government dam. Motor transport-saw the end of horses and drays during the burst of activity in the district in the 1930's. A wind storm destroyed the (Mechanics' Institute about 1913, and the police station, by then closed, was used as a public hall. When the postmistress, Mrs. Hill, left the district in the early 1920's, the post office was closed. The local residents bought the (post office building, and turned it into a hall. Oddly enough, the police station building then became the post office, when the occupant, Mrs. Hug-hie Beaton, accepted the position of postmistress. The school, which closed in 1927, was removed to a farm at Tamniin, and the police station -was eventually pulled down and used to house the plaster wor^s at Yellowdine. The post office-cum-hall was also used as a school for the increased population of the 1930'i, and eventually became a hall at Widgiemooltha. Kunanalling was a good district, its pioneers were fine types and great characters. It is a splendid memory.

Submitted: May 21, 2020

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