Trip Start Jul 25, 2012
136Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I arrived late Saturday and most of the town seemed to have hibernated for the day. After a quick stop at the information centre I made my way to the only caravan park outside of town. Not the friendliest welcoming I've had, but at least they take dogs, so I settled in for the night.
Next morning I did the rounds of the historical sites...or those that I could find or felt interesting enough as some of the old buildings have a lot of publiciity which spoils the authenticity of them.
As I said 'a sleepy town'...when I went to fill up at the petrol station, it was closed, and so were most of the shops in town. Fortunately there was a station on the outskirts of town, so I filled up there and moved on towards York
"The area around Northam was first explored in 1830 by a party of colonists led by Ensign Robert Dale, and subsequently founded in 1833. It was named by Governor Stirling, probably after a village of the same name in Devon, England.
Almost immediately it became a point of departure for explorers and
settlers who were interested in the lands which lay to the east.
This initial importance declined with the growing importance of the other nearby towns of York and Beverley, but the arrival of the railway made Northam the major departure point for fossickers and miners who headed east towards the goldfields.
A severe thunderstorm
lashed the town and surrounding areas on 27 January 2011 resulting in
roofs being ripped off, trees being uprooted and power lines being
About 50 houses were damaged in the town as a result of the storm but no injuries were reported..
During the 1940s and 1950s in Northam there were extensive camps for displaced persons and immigrants from continental Europe
The Northam Migrant Accommodation Centre closed in September
1951. It had been the first place of residence in Western Australia for
approximately 15,000 immigrants from the Baltic states, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Belarus and Bulgaria.
During the peak immigration period, Northam had the largest immigrant
receiving facilities within the State and the third largest in
Australia. By 1950, the camp housed 4,000 people and two new blocks of
huts were built to accommodate them all.By May 1954, 23,000 migrants had passed through the Northam Camp once
the Accommodation Centre had closed. A significant number of these
post-war arrivals eventually settled in the Northam area.