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.
Matthew Flinders in the "Investigator" charts the south coast.
John Eyre walks through the area near the coast, while exploring from South Australia to Albany (WA).
Picnic at Manyutup Creek
Area first surveyed by the Western Australia Surveyor-General, John Septimus Roe.
Area settled by Dunn Brothers.
John Forrest surveys near coast for Perth/Adelaide telegraph line.
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.
Dunn brothers formally granted 4049 hectares.
John Dunn killed by Aborigines.
First white women visit Cocanarup (Elizabeth & Eliza Dunn and a Miss Gillam).
Eliza Dunn comes to Cocanarup to housekeep for her brothers.
James Dunn finds gold at Annabel Creek and is given a reward claim. The Phillips River Goldfield is designated.
Prospectors arrive at Hawks Nest near Cattlin Creek. Dallison brothers find gold at "Harbour View" Kundip.
Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun surveyed in 1900 and gazetted in 1901. MAry Ann Haven renamed Mary Ann Harbour.
Ravensthorpe Police Station, 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.
Survey and construction of No 1. Rabbit Proof Fence (1822 kilometres) commenced.
Arthur Chambers and Dave Neil plant first crop of wheat.
Heads trial copper smelter built near Hawks Nest. Phillips River Road Board is formed.
State Government builds smelter near Cordingup Gap on Esperance road.
Community Brass Band in Ravensthorpe, circa 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.
Smelter sold to private company. Commercial Hotel built in Ravensthorpe.
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.
Bank of WA builds premises in Ravensthorpe.
Railway line opens between Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe.
First train to Ravensthorpe
Peak of large scale mining. Population of Phillips River District reaches 2000.
German mine managers depart.
Phillips River Road Board offices burnt down.
Copper smelters and the mines close and most prospectors move away (mines continue to operate, depending on the price of copper until 1971).
Mining ceases in the area.
The Great Depression and a general exodus from the land.
Claude de Bernales company diamond drilling at Kundip.
Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Railway closed.
Hopetoun Port closes. Shipping through Hopetoun ceases.
Ravensthorpe hospital closes.
Salmon fishing commences at 12 Mile Beach, east of Hopetoun.
Salmon cannery built at Hopetoun. Wheat bin erected in Carlisle Street, Ravensthorpe. Ambulance donated for local use.
First school bus service in the district.
Weekly bus service from Perth to Ravensthorpe initiated.
Snow in Ravensthorpe (26 June).
Elverdton and Cattlin copper mines re-open; Ravensthorpe Copper NL builds 38 houses in Ravensthorpe. Hospital also re-opens.
Land boom with 325 farm blocks allocated throughout Munglinup, Jerdacuttup, Fitzgerald and North Ravensthorpe. Schools established.
Phillips River Road Board becomes Ravensthorpe Shire Council.
Sheep and cattle sale yards established and aerodrome surveyed north west of Ravensthorpe.
Night basketball courts opened at Ravensthorpe.
New court house and police station at Ravensthorpe. CBH builds covered grain storage facilities in Dance Street.
Bank of NSW builds new premises in Morgans Street. Town water scheme and reticulation opened.
Ravensthorpe golf and bowling club established.
Ravensthorpe School upgraded to Junior High School. Elverdton mine closes.
Fitzgerald National Park gazetted.
Peter The Fisherman Catholic Church built in Hopetoun.
Opening of new shire hall. First resident doctor commences practises (K O Danker). All phones now automatic STD.
All main roads in shire now sealed. SEC power in Hopetoun.
Fitzgerald River National Park declared International Biosphere Area by UNESCO. Mains water supply for Hopetoun.
Ravensthorpe Senior Citizens Centre opened. "Back to Ravensthorpe" celebrations coincide with State's 150th anniversary.
First annual Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show.
Radio 747 Esperance brings regional commercial radio to the area.
Hopetoun Jetty demolished.
Last new land allocated for farming. Hopetoun breakwater (groyne) completed.
ABC TV available via satellite.
GWN TV received. Wool boom. Gold mining resurgence at Elverdton until 1991.
Flooding in Hopetoun.
First local resident (W Crane) elected to Federal Senate. "Community Spirit" newspaper commences production.
Optic fibre cable laid along South Coast Highway.
Commercial Hotel restored as Ravensthorpe Community Centre.
Community swimming pool opens in Ravensthorpe.
Culham Inlet causeway opened.
Renewed interest in Bandalup Hill nickel deposits.
Flooding in Ravensthorpe.
Centenary celebrations - Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe, Kundip, No 1 Rabbit Proof Fence and Ravensthorpe School. Richter 5.4 earthquake at Jerdacuttup.
Optic fibre cable laid to Hopetoun from highway at Fence Road.
New hospital completed in Ravensthorpe. Ravensthorpe Nickel Project commences construction at Bandalup Hill. Wind turbine for power commences at Hopetoun.
With BHP Billiton construction phase, population significantly increases in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. A new airport is built between the towns and air service commences.
Extensive development for housing in Hopetoun and some in Ravensthorpe. Construction of a new school in Hopetoun commences.
Official opening ceremony for BHP Billiton's Ravensthorpe Nickel Project. Official opening of the Ravensthorpe Entertainment Centre.
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.
Ravesnthorpe Nickel Operations sold to First Quantum Minerals Australia Pty Ltd. Galaxy Resources Ltd mining spodumine for lithium at Hawk's Nest.
Major tourist development in Fitzgerald River National Park completed.
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.