Wagin, Western Australia

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Wagin
Western Australia
Wagin Town Hall.jpg
Wagin Town Hall
Wagin is located in Western Australia
Wagin
Wagin
Coordinates 33°19′00″S 117°21′00″E / 33.31667°S 117.35000°E / -33.31667; 117.35000Coordinates: 33°19′00″S 117°21′00″E / 33.31667°S 117.35000°E / -33.31667; 117.35000
Population 1,427 (2006 census)[1]
Established 1890s
Postcode(s) 6315
Elevation 303 m (994 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Wagin
State electorate(s) Roe
Federal Division(s) O'Connor
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22.8 °C
73 °F
9.7 °C
49 °F
436.1 mm
17.2 in
Palace Hotel in Wagin
Wagin library 2017
Big Ram sculpture

Wagin /ˈwɪn/ is a town and shire in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, approximately 225 km south-east of Perth on the Great Southern Highway between Narrogin and Katanning. It is also on State Route 107. The main industries are wheat and sheep farming.

History[edit]

The name of the town is derived from Wagin Lake, a usually dry salt lake south of the town. The Aboriginal name is Waitjen, having been first recorded for the lake by a surveyor in 1869-72. There is uncertainty about the actual meaning of 'Wagin' but it is likely that it either means 'the place where emus watered' or 'Emu's watering hole'.

The first European explorer through the area was John Septimus Roe, the Surveyor General of Western Australia in 1835 en route to Albany from Perth. Between 1835 and 1889 a few settlers eked a simple living by cutting sandalwood and shepherding small flocks of sheep. Land was granted to pastoralists in the Wagin area from the late 1870s onwards.

The town itself came into existence after the construction of the Great Southern Railway which was completed in 1889 with the town originally called Wagin Lake.[2]

The first Post Office and Telegraph building, designed by George Temple-Poole was completed in 1893. The building was replaced by the current building in 1912. The building was designed by Hillson Beasley and built at a cost of £2,596 and the old building was converted to living quarters.[3]

The local Agricultural Hall was built by 1896 and opened December 1 the same year.[4] In 1898 Wagin was proclaimed a town with the word Lake dropped.[5] A further railway connection with the Collie to Narrogin line at Bowelling was made on 10 December 1918.[6]

In early 1898 the population of the town was 175: 125 men and 50 women.[7]

Saint George's Anglican church, a stone Federation Gothic style stone building with a tower, was constructed in 1900 on land donated by Frederick Piesse.[8]

The Palace Hotel was built in 1905. The two storey Federation Filigree style building with large verandahs in located on Trudhoe Street. The original owner was Paddy. B. Durack who also owned a sizeable property east of Wagin known as Behn Ord. Significant extensions were added to the building in 1911.[9]

The Wagin Road Boards building was built in 1912 at a cost of £400.[10] The building now houses the town library.

Planning for the construction of the current town hall commenced in 1928 with tenders being called for. The estimated cost for the building was £6000.[11] The foundation stone was lain in May of the same year by Sydney Stubbs.[12] The building included a main hall to seat 600 people, a lesser hall to seat 250, library, council chambers, stage, kitchen and dressing rooms.[13] an was completed early in 1929 at a cost of £6500.[14]

In 1934 the town was extensively flooded after the area experienced 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rainfall in a short period of time, the heaviest for 20 years. Water over a foot deep flowed through the Town Hall and along business premises and dwellings along Tudor Street. The railway yards were flooded and the railway dam burst under the water pressure.[15]

The Big Ram or Giant Ram, a tourist attraction, was erected in Wetlands Park in 1985. The sculptor was Andrew Hickson who constructed the ram from fibreglass over a steel frame. The ram stands 9 metres (30 ft) tall, 13 m (43 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) wide and weighs 4 tonnes (3.94 long tons; 4.41 short tons). Thousands of toursist visit the park each year to view the ram.[16] The sculpture is the second largest of it's kind in the southern hemisphere.[17]

Present day[edit]

Wagin is one of the largest towns in the Southern Wheatbelt region, and annually hosts the Woolorama, one of Western Australia's largest Agricultural Shows. The event held in March regularly attracts over 30,000 visitors.

Notable residents[edit]

Two sets of three well-known brothers played league football after leaving Wagin: Murray, Harry and Phil Riseborough;[18] and Peter, Phil and Wally Matera.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Wagin, Western Australia (1970-2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 44.0
(111.2)
43.0
(109.4)
40.5
(104.9)
37.1
(98.8)
33.2
(91.8)
24.2
(75.6)
22.7
(72.9)
26.2
(79.2)
31.8
(89.2)
37.0
(98.6)
40.4
(104.7)
43.7
(110.7)
44
(111.2)
Average high °C (°F) 31.1
(88)
30.4
(86.7)
27.7
(81.9)
23.7
(74.7)
19.4
(66.9)
16.4
(61.5)
15.3
(59.5)
16.1
(61)
18.2
(64.8)
22.0
(71.6)
25.8
(78.4)
29.2
(84.6)
22.9
(73.3)
Average low °C (°F) 14.6
(58.3)
14.9
(58.8)
13.5
(56.3)
10.8
(51.4)
8.0
(46.4)
6.2
(43.2)
5.5
(41.9)
5.7
(42.3)
6.2
(43.2)
7.9
(46.2)
10.7
(51.3)
12.9
(55.2)
9.7
(49.5)
Record low °C (°F) 4.2
(39.6)
4.6
(40.3)
2.4
(36.3)
0.1
(32.2)
−0.7
(30.7)
−2.2
(28)
−3.0
(26.6)
−1.3
(29.7)
−1.4
(29.5)
−0.5
(31.1)
0.0
(32)
2.4
(36.3)
−3
(26.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 12.8
(0.504)
16.3
(0.642)
20.6
(0.811)
28.9
(1.138)
54.4
(2.142)
71.6
(2.819)
69.9
(2.752)
56.7
(2.232)
41.2
(1.622)
28.9
(1.138)
18.1
(0.713)
13.2
(0.52)
431.9
(17.004)
Average rainy days 1.5 1.6 2.2 3.7 6.7 8.9 9.5 8.5 6.7 4.8 2.9 1.6 58.6
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Wagin (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  2. ^ "Wagin – Railway Crossroads in the Wheat Belt", Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, October, 1991 pp 231-237
  3. ^ "Wagin Post Office". InHerit. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "Wagin notes". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 28 November 1896. p. 11. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – W". Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Cross Country to Wagin", Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1991 pp 207-214
  7. ^ "Population of Western Australia". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "St George's Anglican Church". InHerit. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "Palace Hotel". InHerit. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  10. ^ "Local and General Items". The Southern Argus And Wagin-arthur Express. VII, (344). Western Australia. 6 January 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  11. ^ "Wagin Town Hall". The West Australian. XLIV, (7,994). Western Australia. 28 January 1928. p. 4. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  12. ^ "In the country". The Daily News. XLVII, (16,545). Western Australia. 11 May 1928. p. 12. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  13. ^ "New Town Hall at Wagin". The West Australian. XLIV, (8,230). Western Australia. 1 November 1928. p. 20. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  14. ^ "Real Estate". The West Australian. XLV, (8,284). Western Australia. 5 January 1929. p. 8. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  15. ^ "Wagin suffers". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 10 March 1934. p. 18. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Giant Ram/Wetlands Park". Shire of Wagin. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  17. ^ "Giant Ram Tourist Park". Australia's Golden Outback. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  18. ^ "South Fremantle League Players 1900–2009". South Fremantle Football Club. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "Climate statistics for Wagin". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 

External links[edit]