Historical Locations in the Margaret River Region

Ellensbrook Homestead at Mokidup

Ellensbrook Homestead

Ellen Brook Road, Cowaramup

In 1857 Ellen and Alfred Bussell chose the site of their new home. Sheltered from the winter storms, the site had access to fresh water and was surrounded by fertile soil.

Over the decades the house was built in stages by ticket-of-leave convicts, deserting seamen and local Noongars. The Ellensbrook venture was successful, with income derived from the sale of beef, butter and cheese. Much of the success was due to the practical skills, energy and sound management of Ellen. Alfred and Ellen left Ellensbrook in 1865.

Between 1871 and 1877 Ellensbrook was managed, and the homestead extended, by the eldest of their five daughters, Fanny. Later, the second daughter Edith made Ellensbrook her permanent home. In 1899 she established the Ellensbrook Farm Home for Aboriginal Children. The Home continued for 17 years during which time Edith continued the tradition of extending the main building.

The Noongar name for the locality is Mokidup, and it was a traditional summer camping spot for thousands of years.

For more information about this place and admission into the homestead, visit the National Trust website

Memorial near Ellensbrook Homestead

Ellensbrook Homestead

Ellen Brook Road, Cowaramup
Coordinates 33°54’27.1″S 114°59’58.5″E

Not far from the side of the road to Ellensbrook Homestead is a small gravesite where three of the Bussell’s sons were buried: Jasper, Christopher and Hugh. William Cheesewell, who was a servant of the Bussells is also buried there.

Margaret River Old Hospital

Ellensbrook Homestead

21-33 Tunbridge Street, Margaret River

The hospital was built by May 1924. In 1929 extra nurses’ accommodation and the Margaret Cecil Rest House were built and the 1930s saw a new dining room, extra nurses’ bathroom, operating theatre and sterilising facilities added. The Old Hospital buildings are now being used by the Margaret River Comunity Centre.

For more information about this place visit the Margaret River Community Centre website

Steam Locomotive Kate

Ellensbrook Homestead

Rotary Park, Bussell Hwy, Margaret River

Kate is a 0-4-0WT locomotive constructed for a timber tramway by Leeds company Thomas Green & Son as their builder’s number 132 of 1889. It later worked at the Wyndham Meatworks & pier in the remote north-west of Western Australian.

Darnell’s General Store Witchcliffe

Darnell's General Store

Redgate Road, Rosa Brook

Darnell’s Store in Witchcliffe was originally built by Tom Hopson “who travelled in from the mill (East Witchcliffe) each day as he built the hall and shop, but no living quarters’. The second owners were Mr and Mrs Fearn, who took over the store after Hopson’s death, “with Mrs Fearn running the shop while Mr Fearn ran their farm at Witchcliffe.” In 1938, Bill Darnell and George Shervington bought the store in Rosa Brook and Shervington running the new Witchcliffe one. With the death of Shervington, Darnell changed over to run Witchcliffe, leaving his son Bill, to run the Rosa Brook store.

“Druids” Hall Witchcliffe

Darnell's General Store

Bussell Highway, Rosa Brook

The hall was originally erected by the Samworth family as a shop to service the group settlers who were in the process of developing farms in the area. By the early 1940s it had become too small. The hall was then utilised for living accommodation in the early 1940s. the Druid’s Lodge bought the building in 1945 (28th May) and stayed there until it was given to the Shire Council.

CWA Hall Witchcliffe

Darnell's General Store

Redgate Road, Rosa Brook

The Witchcliffe CWA commenced in February 1933 and had raised enough money to erect their own hall by 1936. The hall is surrounded by a natural garden and a wood and paled fence. It is situated on the edge of the town.

Darnell’s General Store Rosa Brook

Darnell's General Store

Rosa Brook Road, Rosa Brook

Darnell’s Store in Witchcliffe is in it’s original state, not only externally but internally as well. The store is set out and operated as is was in the 1930s, which gives its unique character and attracts many tourists. Even though it has this old fashioned character and charm, it is still being run as a successful business providing a general store and post office to the community.

Rosa Brook Community Hall

Rosa Brook Community Hall

Rosa Brook Road, Rosa Brook

The hall originally opened as a school in 1925 to serve the local group settlement children. It was later used as a community hall and extend to include kitchen facilities and a stage. The hall is frequently used by sporting groups, playground, the CWA and in addition, many social functions are held over there during the year.

St. John the Evangelist Church Osmington

Osmington Church

Cnr Osmington Rd & Canebreak Rd, Osmington

St John’s Anglican Church in Osmington was built by “Cotter” Williams. Williams wife although not an Anglican herself, helped organise fundraising events for the erection of the church building, although it was mainly through the generosity of Mrs Rivington in England. The church was opened on 27th December 1933 and dedicated by Bishop Wilson on 2nd February 1934.

The church was adjacent to the school, which has now been removed, and so the church building is the only tangible proof of the existence of the tiny hamlet of Osmington. A plaque to group settlement has been set outside the church and a list of present residents is inside. The church remains open at all time and has remained intact

CWA Hall Rosa Glen

CWA Building in Rosa Glen

Cnr Rosa Glen Rd & Lucas Rd, Rosa Glen

Only the single teacher’s quarters remains of the old school in Rosa Glen. The building is now used by the Country Women’s Association.

Keenan’s Number 1 Mill

Keenan's No 1 Mill

Wooditjup National Park

If you take a stroll along the Chimney Walk Trail in the Wooditjup National Park, you will be sure to come across an enormous curved chimney. The chimney was part of Keenans No 1 Mill, the first pine sawmill in Margaret River. The Keenans No1 Mill was built in 1961 by Aub McEvoy who worked for the Forests Department.

The chimney was used to burn off saw dust and off cuts from the timbers.