Just heading out of the town (or into depending on which way you are travelling) is the open cast workings of Fraser's Mine where minerals were excavated from the surface. It is the most industrious gold mine in the area and has also remained working the longest
On top of Wimmera Hill is a memorial. This was the site of the establishment of the town with the first gold find in early 1888. The obelisk displays some of the basic tools used during the towns early days.
This is an old wooden section of the original pipeline that C.Y. O’Connor laid which is probably the longest water pipeline in the world. The pipeline travelled 530km (330 miles) between Perth and Kalgoorlie. The old wooden type has been replaced by concrete sections.
An Ostrich egg is much larger than your normal chicken variety. It can be up to the size of a rock melon and are very strong. An Emu eggs are not as thick as Ostrich eggs but they are still made up of 3 different layers all of different shades. The outer is a dark green shade with the interior being white. They are often carved or even painted. These days a high tech method is used to carve using a laser engraver.
Bornite or Peacock Iron/ore has a range of many colours through it. The colours come from an iridenscent tarnish which forms on bornite when it is exposed to the air. The ore usually contains silver, gold, zinc and lead. The name of course comes from the colours of a peacocks tail.
These machines were used to crush rock which held gold to try and separate the gold. Each stamp weighed 545kg and drops 200mm, 90 times per minute. The rock is mixed with water, crushed by the stamps and sifted through a fine screen over an amalgum place to liberate the gold.
This old reed organ was made in Boston by Mason & Hamlin during the 1800’s. Mason was the accomplished pianist and Hamlin was a creative mechanic. Their organs were popular through until the end of that century when they changed to producing piano’s. This particular organ was originally owned by the Southern Cross Church but was later sold to the Seventh Day Adventist Church until it was replaced by an electric organ.
This old Esdaile iron frame piano was owned by the McCrea family since 1900 and they used it for singalongs. It was also then used for church services. The beautiful candle holders are still inlace although some of the keys have been replaced.
The museum has a collection of old cameras including a G.B. Kershaw 110 Snapshot which was made in 1954. There is also Ensign Box 2 ½ which was made in the 1920’, some old Brownies, Agfa Optima complete with flash and a Bedfordflex.
The Museum is open daily with hours from 9.30am to 4.00pm (closing for lunch between 12.30 and 1.00pm) Monday to Saturday and on Sundays from 1.30 – 4.00pm. Amongst other displays there is also a prospectors camp with gear that was used during the goldmining hay days. It was in this building that Paddy Hannan first took out his Miner’s Right after he found gold in Coolgardie.
The Yilgarn History Museum is housed in the old Registrar’s Office which was built in 1892. This was the first of its kind in Western Australia and was made of mud bricks. The museum holds quite a collection of records, memorabilia and artefacts representing both the mining and agriculture history of the area.
This hill overlooks the town and while its not that high, it does give some great views over the surrounding pastureland which includes goldmines.
There are several fine examples or minerals which have been found around the area. Quartz and Azurite are fairly typical in the area. The Azurite is a soft deep blue copper colour.
Out in the back building is a homemade wheelchair which has been made from an old bicycle frame. The chair is propelled by two hand worked levers. A bit crude but obviously workable.
Inside the museum there is a working model of this type of Stamp Mill. You can flick the switch and see the exact operation of how the life size machine works. Pretty cool.