Heritage society in Jarrahdale marks 30 years

Heritage society in Jarrahdale marks 30 years

Party for heritage society

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Jarrahdale heritage society secretary and museum curator Di Henniker was preparing an exhibition at the old Jarrahdale post office museum.
Jarrahdale heritage society secretary and museum curator Di Henniker was preparing an exhibition at the old Jarrahdale post office museum.

The Jarrahdale heritage society will celebrate 30 years of working to preserve the history of Jarrahdale this month.

Society president and founding member Jan Star said the group formed in 1985 to preserve the area now known as the Jarrahdale heritage park.

At the time the land belonged to Bunnings, which had plans to develop the site.

Ms Star said the residents worked with the National Trust, the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire and Bunnings, which was later absorbed by Wesfarmers, to have the park area ceded to the National Trust on the condition the shire bought the remaining mill land.

Jarrahdale was later classified as an historic town in 1997.

Since then society members have been instrumental in preserving records, photographs and other memorabilia.

They also opened a museum at the old post office, which had been under threat of demolition and they established heritage walks in the area.

Ms Star, who has lived in Jarrahdale since 1978, said protecting the forest was also of great importance to the society.

“The central part of having a mill town is to have a bit of forest,” she said.
Secretary Di Henniker said Jarrahdale had a rich and varied history.

“People don’t realise but Jarrahdale used to be a bustling town with several thousand people in it and at one point it had a hospital,” she said.

“Timber used to be a thriving industry and it kept us out of depression after the end of the gold rush.

“The mill in Jarrahdale closed down during the Great Depression beginning in 1929 and a lot of the men left to look for work.”

She said once the Great Depression subsided the mill reopened but it was never as big as it had been.

Since the 1930s there were a series of fires at the mill, the hospital and Millbrook hotel closed down and the Serpentine dam was opened, drowning the sites of the numbers five and six mills.

The last timber mill was closed in 1997.

To mark the birthday a picnic will be held at the Heritage park with children’s activities, a sausage sizzle, log chopping and bush poetry around a bon fire.

An exhibition highlighting the major achievements of the society will be held at the old post office museum.

The event would be held from 2.30pm on August 22.