Two local rivers and the town of Brunswick got their names from the same person. The Duke of Brunswick - Luneberg, Commander-In-Chief of the Prussian army defeated by Napoleon in 1806 at the battle of Jena.

By E. G. D.

The Brunswick river was discovered and explored by Collie and Lieut. Preston, who found that it joined the Collie River at what became known as " the Junction", near Australind. The Brunswick River first appeared on a map on West Australia printed in London in 1839. James Stirling, first governor of the Swan River colony, as it was called records crossing the Brunswick River on a journey across country from Kojonup to the Harvey River. On August 31, 1840 a dinner was held in London to farewell the advance party of the West Australian Company which sailed to the colony in the "Island Queen." The party comprised mostly surveyors and their assistants under a Mr Austin, whose duty it was to prepare the way at the proposed city of Australind for the main party. On March 18, 1841, the sailing ship "Parkfield" arrived and landed near Australind 125 passengers under the WA Company's commissioner, Mr Marshall Waller Clifton. With him was his family, including Robert W Clifton, the secretary of the company and the father of Algernon F Clifton of Alverstoke, Brunswick who was well known there for a number of years.


In those early days there was no bridge over the river between Fremantle and the Vasse, now Busselton until Williams Forrest father of John Forrest the States first Premier was employed to build a bridge over the Brunswick River, near Australind.

The bridge was opened my M W Clifton on March 2, 1845, and allowed settlers who had arrived at Australind the "Island Queen", "Parkfield", "Diadem" and "Trusty" to farm or move from the sandy country at the coast to good country near what became known as Brunswick.

Members if the Clifton family were followed by others, including Thomas Marriott Snr, who took up land at " Riverdale" and Andrew McAndrew who took up land that

he called "Wedderburn: previously owned by a Mr Ferguson.

It is not known if James McAndrew, who was in Brunswick in 1894, was in the state when Wedderburn was first taken up, but it is known that a bit later the McAndrew brothers brought David Eedle from Scotland to look after their sheep at Wedderburn. Some years later Eedle bought "Frogmore" where he was well known for a long period. One of his daughters married a Mr Heppingstone who farmed there for many years.

The name Ommaney has been known in the district for a long time. In Rev. J R Wollaston's "Picton Journal" be mentions that on his sons arrival at Picton from Fremantle in May 1841, he was welcomed by Mr and Mrs Ommaney who were farming there. Possibly Ommaney Road was the original track from Picton to Brunswick.


Old settlers say that the first telegraph line to Bunbury was known for many years as the "Ommaney Line" and this may be the origin of Ommaney Road, part of the main Perth - Bunbury Road, Mr Ommaney was a surveyor.

As recorded in the general story of the district. Thomas Marriott Snr and Mary Lions who later became his wife came from England on the "Diadem". The Marriotts were the first couple married in the Picton Church and Mrs Mary Marriott was the first woman to live at Brunswick.

Their sons were well known in the district for many years and William and David were original members of the Brunswick and Districts Road Board, when it was formed on February 11, 1895. When Wiliam Reading retired, David Marriott was appointed chairman. Thomas Marriott's daughter Cecilia 'Mrs G Meredith' still lives in Bunbury and is aged 93 years.

The first school was built by Brunswick settlers, about 1870 opposite to Frogmore and Miss Fanny Eedle was its first school mistress. This old building was used for Church of England and Congregational Church services before a church was built. Many Brunswick couples were married in the school.

Before the railway was opened on September 19, 1893, coach horses were chained at John Crampton's farm near the present school. Mr Crampton took charge of the mail which he kept in a box in his bedroom.

The year 1893 was a great one for Brunswick because on April 5 the Brunswick Farmers' Association held its first meeting.

Mr David Eedle was the first chairman and Mr John Partridge of White Rocks was secretary. Original members included Messrs John and Luke Crampton, Bradley Gardener, Arthur E Algernon, F Maitland and J E M Clifton ( all members of the original Clifton family of Australind). Jas Milligan, T Marriott, Henry, Charles and Thomas Offer, William Reading, Edwin M Rose, R H Rose Jnr, Ryall and J P Welard of Benger.

AgriculturAL Hall

It is evident that this association, the first in the district did much to help Brunswick become an important centre. In 1894 the Government was induced by the association to erect an agricultural hall, probably the first in the whole of the South-West. This idea bacame the policy of the Government of the day and other halls were later built at Cookernup and Harvey and other places, entirely at Government expense.

Other original members of the association who were not Brunswick residents but evidently keen to help were Messrs Samuel Buckby, J Thompson Logue, William Logue and William J Sutton, of Harvey and the Hon H W Venn, the district's Parliamentary representative who lived in Dardanup.

Murray was the first local electoral diision, but from the late 1860's a great part of the South - West was controlled by the old Wellington Road Board. Thomas Hayward, of Bindinup and Bunbury was its first chairman. The board stretched from Pinjarra to Bridgetown.

36 Reserve St

Claremont 6010

14 July 1987

Dear Tim

There is an extensive swag of files under the heading 'Brunswick School Files' in Accession 1629 in Battye Library. I had a quick look at 6/92 which deals with the site of the school.

There is on this file a letter from the teacher, Charles Niebel dated 4th September 1895 to the Secretary for education in Perth which has attached this plan of the townsite.

".the present school marked ? and the new school site C at the junction of Ommaney and Melville Rd….."

Thus the old school was on Lot 23 near the old Agricultural Hall and the new school was a piece excised from lots 31 and 32 and donated originally by Mr Crampton. There was, according to the file about four years discussion before the decision was taken to use the Crampton site as families to the South of the river wanted a site on that side. Several were looked at but all were deemed unsuitable, mostly because of flooding in winter. The above letter lists six families who would provide children for the school.

G. Gibbs      4 children      8 to 14 ½      

R. Ryall      2 children      8 ½ to 10 ½      

Heppingstone      6 children      6 to 14 ½      

C. Crampton      2 children      7 & 10      

Delaporte      4 children      4 ½ to 10      

Marriott      1 child      14 ½      

Plus a boy from Mornington riding 7 miles on Horseback !!!!!

There is a note on the file disputing the accuracy of the roads marked on the map stating that it goes nearer the Gibbs.

I will be interested to know if this agrees with either of your possibilities !!

The other photocopy is of a sketch by Niebel done in 1896 when he was having difficulty in deciding what to clear for a playground and the expense that that would involve. The various letters were his 'survey pegs' and he discusses various combinations of areas so delineated.

Trust all this is of interest

With regards


In the first part of his story of early Brunswick last week E.G.D told of the early identities of the district and of their problems. In this part he continues with the development of the area and of settlers' efforts to get railway communications with the city.

Before taking up Bindinup, Mr Hayward had been leasing Wedderburn in partnership with Mrs Rose Snr and Mr Charles Rose. He recorded in his diary that in 1857 they lost a lot of their dairy herd through poison probably zamia palm and hart leaf.

Thomas Hayward also recorded two episodes of crossing the Brunswick river near Frogmore before any bridges had been built. Mr W B Mitchell father of the state's former Premier and Governor, Sir James Mitchell would have been drowned but for the help of Mr Heppiingstone who pulled him out of the flooded river.

Mr R J Heppingstone and his son George were well known at Brunswick for many years. Mr James Perren and his sons Fred and Joe, Arthur, Jesse and daughter Rose, who later married Mr J Owen Mitchell, all lived in the old two story brick building which was later known as the State Farm.

James Piggott who originally lived near the Brunswick River, near Australind and his son William were also well known as were Reuben Gardner and his son Bradley who are mentioned in old records. ThomasTalbot Snr widley known in Coolgardie Goldfields, brought Wedderburn from Hon Edward Rose MLC., who had this old property for many years.

Some of the old leadlight windows at Weddernburn were brought from Scotland by McAndrew.

When in 1894 the Government proposed to form a new road board of smaller area than the Wellington Board. The Brunswick farmers' association voted in favour of retaining the name of Wellington. The Government did not agree.

The first election of the new board was held on February 11th 1895, when the returning officer was Mr John Partridge J.P. Those elected were William Reading 3 years, William Marriott, David W Marriott, Joseph N Logue 2 years, A F Clifton, R H Rose Jnr. and Arthur Perren 1 year.

W. Reading was elected chairman and it was decided to advertise for a secretary and collector of licences at a salary of 12 pound for the first year. The next meeting was held on February 20, 1895, and Mr James Dixon of Bunbury was appointed.

In 1895 after the Collie fields had become established in the coal industry the Government agreed to construct a railway line to what was later to be known as Collie. This association strongly supported by the road board, called a meeting at Brunswick to protest against the line being built from Donnybrook. The association and road board advocated a line from Brunswick, via Perren's but finally the Government built the line via Lunenburg. It was the first surveyed to join the South - West line north of Brunswick but John Forrest, a great believer in decentralisation, insisted that it should come in facing towards Bunbury.

With the opening of the new line on July 1st 1898. Brunswick became Brunswick Junction and the state was saved millions of pounds in coal haulage to the metropolitan area through the determined action of the Brunswick people.

The distance from Collie fields to Perth was shortened by about 40 miles through the alteration of the route.


A move by the association in August 1897 was unseccessful. It proposed that a rail loop line be built from Brunswick to Serpintine, via Myalup and Mandurah and in October 1891 R. H Rose got signatures in favour of the upper railway line, half way between the South - West line and the Coastroad. In 1892 William Reading had advocated what was known as a mid - way route before the line was built from Picton to Pinjarra.

Not much is known about this suggested route which would have been on the line now followed by the State Electricity Commision's power line from Bunbury to Fremantle.

Undaunted by the rejection on their ideas. William Reading in August 1911 on behalf of the Coast Railway League arranged for a deputation to the Minister for Railways who promised to get a report on the league's proposal for a railway from Bunbury to near Rockingham via the Coast Road.

There was a big meeting at Parkfield but nothing came of it except that the Government spent a lot of money constructing the best piece of road in the district from the Wellesley Road junction with the Coast Road to Myalup. For many years this road stood as a monument to the Coast Railway league which died young.

In July1900 there was no townsite where Brunswick stands today. The association wanted land for a township east and west of the railway yards. Mr Heppingstone was approached and offered to sell land for a townsite at from 12 pound to 20 pound per acre but this was not accepted.

Later in the same year he offered to sell 130 acres east and west of Brunswick Station and south of the Upper Brunswick Road at 10 pound per acre to the Government, which refused the offer.

In october 1900 Miss Laura Clifton presented the association with a pair of candlesticks evidently for use in the hall. It is hoped that in the atomic age these candlestick will be preserved and form the foundation of a distict museum. In 1900 James McFarlane and Conning suggested the erection of a plant at Brunswick to pasteurise milk. No support was promised to the scheme, but 55 years later it came through the progressive enterprise of Browns' Ltd followed by Peters Ltd.

In 1902 the association asked the railway to alter the time table of the "Cockies Express". Other requests were for single fares and a protest against the carriages of butter in the same van as livestock, bone dust and other obnoxious matter.


One of the most interesting suggestions brought before the association was that by Mr Hawkins who proposed that Andrew Carnegie be asked for a donation of 500 pound to establish a library at Brunswick. David Marriott suggested that the sum be increased to 2.500 Pounds. The suggestion was adoped but unfortunately the motion was rescined at the next meeting, so Carnegie never had the chance to provide a library at Brunswick.

Elvira Gully, near Alverstoke was under discussion at more road board meetings than any othe place in the district. This dangerous culvert was finally put right by the Main Roads Department when the Brunswick - Australind Road was made into a highway, 40 years after the original complaint was recorded in the road board minutes.

The Brunswick and Districts Road Board's first rate book started in 1900. It shows many interesting facts. Before a rate was struck, the the board's only source of income were Government grants and licenses.

In 1900 Collie was the name of the siding known as Roelands. Roelands was the large area of land formerly owned by Septimus Roe the States first surveyer - general.

Benger was called Mornington, but Benger Swamp was shown as an area of land. Wellington location 1 of 4,892 acres, owned by Dr J.W Hope with an annual value of 61 pounds rated at 6d in the pound. This was the first rate levied in the district.

Quite a lot of the Collie coalfields was in the Brunswick district and Port and Company had two big sawmills near Worsley.

The first hotel in the district at Collie now Roelands was in the name of J Stephens and was near the siding opposite Tim Ferry's store.

The Black Swan Hotel at Brunswick is believed to be the first wooden hotel on the east side of the railway line.

No doubt a great deal could be written about the early days of Brunswick by those whose families have helped to pioneer this progressive district. It is hoped by the writer that many may be found who will put on record the many things that have been done in Brunswick in the past 50 years since Summers and Co.. land agents of Perth made a town in the centre of a very worthy agricultural district, for the late Mr Heppinstone who at one time owned most of the land where the town stands today.


Extract from "They Made their Destiny"

Eve of the New Century

The southern section of the Brunswick Road District contained the very beginnings of a town not yet in existence. Until 1898 when the Colliefields railway was opened to Brunswick Junction, all the traffic to and from the Colliefields made its connection with the South - Western Railway just north of the Collie Railway Bridge at the siding named Collie. Stacks of timber from Worsely timber mills lined the railtrack awaiting the arrival of ralway trucks.

Alongside were heaps of chaff in sacks for the teams which hauled the logs from the mills. Mick Ferry maintained a store to supply the millworkers and the coalminers; at their hotel, James Stephens and his partners the Darbys provided accommodation, food and refreshment for the travellers to and from the mills and the mines. When the Junction was made at Brunswick, Collie faded until its rebirth years later as Roelands. It did however keep its quarrying activities to supply Bunbury Harbour with breakwater material; nothing was done to move the Main Road Junction with the Collie fields road, just north of the old Collie Bridge, where the local black smith E. Brandli had established himself. The hotel and store were still operating in 1900.

The surveying of the route of the Colliefields Railway so that it would descend from the plateau by way of the Lunenberg and Brunswick Rivers, blighted the prospects of Collie (Roelands) and created a townsite called Brunswick at the junction with the South - Western Railway. Before work started on the Coalfields line, there had existed a collection of railway-men's cottages north of the river near the Crampton homestead where the post office had operated. South of the bridge was the Agricultural Hall, and the schoolhouse stood near Frogmore until a new one was build opposite Crampton's post office. When the Colliefields railway line was linked with the S.W.R south of the bridge, the town centre was drawn to the junction. Paddy O'Brien's Hotel, the Black Swan, was across the road east of the station and John Evens' boarding house was situated at the Clifton Road railway crossing. William Delaney's store was closed by the hall on the Main Road. Land was reserved for a post office at the present site on the Main Road. O'Brien and Ben Reading both owned town lots in the newly surveyed townsite - William Delaporte's small farm lay on the south boundary. The centre was the railway station, not the Clifton Road/Main Road crossing.

Into Dairying

By the end of 1918 the unpopular Brunswick State Farm was converted to a station for giving agricultural training to returned service men, but was quickly transferred out of the Agricultural Department to provide a set of farms for the Soldier Settlement scheme. Priority ws given to the quickest possible placement of men on the land; the need to deal with the unsolved problems of cultivation was ignored. The unsuspecting settlers was expected to have them as they arose.

Before checking lists of early soldier settlers, readers must realise that the names are those remembered by local historians after an effort to recall events over half a century.


Allocation to Returned Service Men Lots 1,23 and 37 were reserved for various purposes: Lots 25 to 30 were riverside plots of about 5 acres each, allotted to several settlers.      

Lots      Area (acres)      Settlers      

2      208      Tom and Michael Rodgers      

3      148      (Lots 38 & 39 adjoin) ??      

4      175      

5      167      M.J. Rodgers      

6      279      Michael Rodgers      

7      268      William Rodgers      

8      233      ---- Tothill      

9      184      Don Campbell      

10      154      ( For years a common)      

11      246      Tom Rodgers      

12      102      Walter Noakes      

13      209      G. Warburton      

14      194      T.B. Stanley      

15      196      W. Harding      

16      180      A. Warburton      

17      94      W. Carroll      

18      17      ---- Martin      

19      11      W. Arthur      

20      80           

21      50           

22      10      Reg Smith      

24      45           

31      24      ---- Martin      

32      87      H. Nutley      

33      103      A. Gould      

34      103      Robert Gill      

35      102      ---- Harris      

36      193      ---- Seijournee      

38      65      ??      

39      22      ??      

Marriott Estate - Location 3591 122 acres N. Clarke

Location 3592 122 acres W. Clarke

Source: Notes written by T.B Stanley, Brunswick.

Names which come to mind might be the first person to take up a block, or the one who remained longest, or the one among a series of successors who possessed some unusual characteristic. The full story of a settlement would require a detailed review of Government files. The chances of omittiing the name of a particular settler, or of mis-spelling his name may be illustrated by a calculation carried out relating to the Brunswick Soldier Settlement. Though there were possibly twenty-four names among the first settlers, as many as seventy-eight men occupied the twenty-four or so blocks during the following forty years, seven farms being each occupied by five different people in succession.

The Brunswick Soldier Settlement consisted of 26 farm units, allocated to 18 families, several brothers taking up separate units. There appear to have been two sections of the settlement, one further from the river, where farm units measured 150 to 300 acres, and the other consisting of units measuring 80 to 120 acres each. In three cases viable farms. This survey seems to have been carried out for the immediate requirements of soldier settlement, probably when the state farm was transferred from the Agricultural Department. When they looked southwards across the Brunswick River, the newcomers would soon have realised that the farmers on the Clifton Agricultural Area were in occupation of a similar settlement, on much the same farm areas, but with nearly twenty years of experience behind them. The two Marriott Estate locations adjoining the old State Farm were prchased by the Government to extend the soldier Settlement holding. A few miles northward along Ommanney Road ( the main Perth Bunbury Road) the Offer brothers likewise sold a part of the holding to enable the Government to provide land for four soldier settlers who have been named as Blake, Absolom, Pearson and O'Brien.



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