Golden Pipeline

National Trust of WA

Explore The Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail

A self-guided drive trail between the Perth Hills and Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. Go with the Flow. Follow the water to discover more about the audacious goldfields water supply scheme and Engineer CY O’Connor.

Discover The people and the Scheme

“Future generations, I am quite certain will think of us and bless us for our far seeing patriotism, and it will be said of us, as Isaiah said of old, ‘They made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” – Sir John Forrest

Ghooli to Gilgai Towns

Ghooli

Ghooli, or sometimes Ghouli, was not a town per se but a stop on the Eastern Railway. Apart from No 6 Pump Station, it was home to a government agricultural experimental farm.

Swing that was used by children in the community. Can be found at the site.
Anne Brake. Swing that was used by children in the community. Can be found at the site.

The Sunday Times of 5 September 1926 reports the government approving the establishment of an experimental farm at Ghooli, eight miles east of Southern Cross.

The newspaper states this farm is the third established that particular year, the other two being at Nabawa and Salmon Gums. This was in accordance with government policy to found farms for experimental purposes in areas ‘which have not yet been proved safe for successful wheat farming’, the report continues.

(Note: a particularly hardy variety of wheat developed there was named Nabawa but that experimental farm was established in 1902. Perhaps the newspaper was confusing Nabawa experimental farm in the Chapman Valley with Dampawah experimental farm near Perenjori?)

The Ghooli farm was established to test the eastern boundaries of wheat production and The West Australian of 31 January 1934, for example, gives the harvest returns for what became known as the Yilgarn State Farm.

Settlement never proceeded east of Southern Cross although successful wheat farming was established west of the town. Poor prices following the Great Depression and   poor seasons in the 1930s and the outbreak of war in 1939 led to both Dampawah and Ghooli experimental farms being closed in 1940/41.

Helen Spencer, nee Fathers, who was born at No 6, recalls

And mum had four children under, well my sister is 5 years older than me so about 7 years between four children and she obviously – she was a wonderful woman my mother – she used to make the best of any situation all her life.  She was a real ladylike lady, patient and kind, and just…you name it she was a wonderful wife, a wonderful mother, and she used to get kerosene cases and paint them and make little frills and put elastic across the front with fabric on them, you know, to make cupboards and things, she was a real homemaker.

She used to dress us nicely, as well as she could with the money that would have been available, take us for walks.   There was nowhere to go at No. 6 pumping station as you can imagine, but dress us up and actually take us all for a walk, put a couple of us in the pram.  There was a State Farm out the back of Ghooli, and she used to walk over there and there were people called Bacons, Mr. and Mrs. Bacon and she used to take us over there to have a cup of tea with Mrs. Bacon and come back….

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