History Time Line

In 1848, the area was first surveyed by then State Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe. The Dunn brothers settled in the area in 1868 when they took up land at Cocanarup. Thirty years later James Dunn found gold at Annabel Creek and was given a reward claim by the government. A gold rush occurred in the ensuing couple of years which resulted in the development of gold and copper mining in or around Ravensthorpe Range. Mining has continued spasmodically over the years.

Agriculture continued to grow after the depression in the nineteen-thirties and with further land releases in the nineteen sixties and seventies, remains the principal industry of the area.

1802

Matthew Flinders in the "Investigator" charts the south coast.

1841

John Eyre walks through the area near the coast, while exploring from South Australia to Albany (WA).

Picnic at Manyutup Creek
Picnic at Manyutup Creek

1848

Area first surveyed by the Western Australia Surveyor-General, John Septimus Roe.

1868

Area settled by Dunn Brothers.

1870

John Forrest surveys near coast for Perth/Adelaide telegraph line.

1871

Mary Ann Haven is named by whaler Mr Thomas after his daughter. John Dunn takes three months to bring sheep overland from Albany to Cocanarup with his brother George.

1873

Dunn brothers formally granted 4049 hectares.

1880

John Dunn killed by Aborigines.

1882

First white women visit Cocanarup (Elizabeth & Eliza Dunn and a Miss Gillam).

1896

Eliza Dunn comes to Cocanarup to housekeep for her brothers.

1898

James Dunn finds gold at Annabel Creek and is given a reward claim. The Phillips River Goldfield is designated.

1899

Prospectors arrive at Hawks Nest near Cattlin Creek. Dallison brothers find gold at "Harbour View" Kundip.

1900

Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun surveyed in 1900 and gazetted in 1901. MAry Ann Haven renamed Mary Ann Harbour.

Ravensthorpe Police Station, 1901
Ravensthorpe Police Station, 1901

1901

The Metropolitan Hotel and a general store built in Hopetoun. Population of Ravensthorpe reaches 500 and school opens with 19 students. Hopetoun is established and a small jetty constructed. Ravensthorpe named after the surrounding Ravensthorpe Range. Hopetoun was named after the first Governor General, the Earl of Hopetoun.

1901 

Survey and construction of No 1. Rabbit Proof Fence (1822 kilometres) commenced.

1902

Arthur Chambers and Dave Neil plant first crop of wheat.

1903

Heads trial copper smelter built near Hawks Nest. Phillips River Road Board is formed.

1904

State Government builds smelter near Cordingup Gap on Esperance road.

Community Brass Band in Ravensthorpe, circa 1905
Community Brass Band in Ravensthorpe, circa 1905

1905

No 2 smelter built on Hopetoun Road. The mine manager's house and a hospital are built in Ravensthorpe. First gold mining at Hatters Hill.

1906

Smelter sold to private company. Commercial Hotel built in Ravensthorpe.

1907

Palace Hotel, Union Bank & Mechanics Institute (later a hall) built in Ravensthorpe. Port Hotel built in Hopetoun and the jetty extended. A building boom at Ravensthorpe, Hopetoun, Kundip and Desmond.

1908

Bank of WA builds premises in Ravensthorpe.

1909

Railway line opens between Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe.

First train to Ravensthorpe
First train to Ravensthorpe

1911

Peak of large scale mining. Population of Phillips River District reaches 2000.

1913

German mine managers depart.

1916

Phillips River Road Board offices burnt down.

1918

Copper smelters and the mines close and most prospectors move away (mines continue to operate, depending on the price of copper until 1971).

Dam

1920

Mining ceases in the area.

1930

The Great Depression and a general exodus from the land.

"Making hay"
"Making hay"

1931

Claude de Bernales company diamond drilling at Kundip.

1935

Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Railway closed.

1937

Hopetoun Port closes. Shipping through Hopetoun ceases.

1938

Ravensthorpe hospital closes.

1943

Salmon fishing commences at 12 Mile Beach, east of Hopetoun.

1947

Salmon cannery built at Hopetoun. Wheat bin erected in Carlisle Street, Ravensthorpe. Ambulance donated for local use.

1948

First school bus service in the district.

1950

Weekly bus service from Perth to Ravensthorpe initiated.

1956

Snow in Ravensthorpe (26 June).

1958

Elverdton and Cattlin copper mines re-open; Ravensthorpe Copper NL builds 38 houses in Ravensthorpe. Hospital also re-opens.

1960

Land boom with 325 farm blocks allocated throughout Munglinup, Jerdacuttup, Fitzgerald and North Ravensthorpe. Schools established.

1961

Phillips River Road Board becomes Ravensthorpe Shire Council.

1962

Sheep and cattle sale yards established and aerodrome surveyed north west of Ravensthorpe.

1965

Night basketball courts opened at Ravensthorpe.

1967

New court house and police station at Ravensthorpe. CBH builds covered grain storage facilities in Dance Street.

1968

Bank of NSW builds new premises in Morgans Street. Town water scheme and reticulation opened.

1970

Ravensthorpe golf and bowling club established.

1971

Ravensthorpe School upgraded to Junior High School. Elverdton mine closes.

1973

Fitzgerald National Park gazetted.

1975

Peter The Fisherman Catholic Church built in Hopetoun.

1976

Opening of new shire hall. First resident doctor commences practises (K O Danker). All phones now automatic STD.

1977

All main roads in shire now sealed. SEC power in Hopetoun.

1978

Fitzgerald River National Park declared International Biosphere Area by UNESCO. Mains water supply for Hopetoun.

1979

Ravensthorpe Senior Citizens Centre opened. "Back to Ravensthorpe" celebrations coincide with State's 150th anniversary.

1981

First annual Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show.

1982

Radio 747 Esperance brings regional commercial radio to the area.

1983

Hopetoun Jetty demolished.

1984

Last new land allocated for farming. Hopetoun breakwater (groyne) completed.

1985

ABC TV available via satellite.

1987

GWN TV received. Wool boom. Gold mining resurgence at Elverdton until 1991.

1988

Flooding in Hopetoun.

1990

First local resident (W Crane) elected to Federal Senate. "Community Spirit" newspaper commences production.

1991

Optic fibre cable laid along South Coast Highway.

1993

Commercial Hotel restored as Ravensthorpe Community Centre.

1995

Telecentres established.

1996

Community swimming pool opens in Ravensthorpe.

1997

Culham Inlet causeway opened.

1998

Renewed interest in Bandalup Hill nickel deposits.

2000

Flooding in Ravensthorpe.

2001

Centenary celebrations - Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe, Kundip, No 1 Rabbit Proof Fence and Ravensthorpe School. Richter 5.4 earthquake at Jerdacuttup.

2002

Optic fibre cable laid to Hopetoun from highway at Fence Road.

2004

New hospital completed in Ravensthorpe. Ravensthorpe Nickel Project commences construction at Bandalup Hill. Wind turbine for power commences at Hopetoun.

2005

With BHP Billiton construction phase, population significantly increases in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. A new airport is built between the towns and air service commences.

2006

Extensive development for housing in Hopetoun and some in Ravensthorpe. Construction of a new school in Hopetoun commences.

2008

Official opening ceremony for BHP Billiton's Ravensthorpe Nickel Project. Official opening of the Ravensthorpe Entertainment Centre.

2009

Suspension of operations at BHP Billiton's Ravensthorpe Nickel Project. Approximately 1800 jobs lost. Air Service ceases at the Ravensthorpe Airport. Official opening of Galaxy Resources Limited.

2010

Ravesnthorpe Nickel Operations sold to First Quantum Minerals Australia Pty Ltd. Galaxy Resources Ltd mining spodumine for lithium at Hawk's Nest.

2014

Major tourist development in Fitzgerald River National Park completed.

2015

Heavy Haulage Route commences at Ravensthorpe and is completed in December 2015.

Hopetoun Community Centre is completed - this facility includes the Town Hall, Shire Office, Hopetoun CRC, Dr Surgery and Hopetoun Progress Association.