A project from the National Trust of WA
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.
“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”
Looking around this site you will see many reminders of the lively community which developed around the No 5 Pump Station. The remnants of the gardens and fruit trees for which Yerbillon was once famous can still be seen scattered across the landscape.
The pump stations were not just large, elegant industrial buildings dominating the landscape. Around each of them there was a vibrant community of workers, their wives and children, and often a teacher, all of whom established homes and gardens. Each pump station was like an oasis in the low rainfall region.
No 5 was the first of the smaller pump stations, with two pumping sets. To the west of the pump building were seven house allotments, although originally only four dwellings were erected; three engineers’ houses and a single men’s barracks. Others were added as needed. A second group of four houses, one of which remains, were erected later in Graham Street to the north of the pump building.
The houses were well separated from the pump building by bushland and the reservoir, probably to avoid the noise and dirt associated with the pump station operations. There was also at the time a strong Victorian doctrine of the separation of home and work. A walk over the area reveals the past still surviving in such domestic vegetation as shade trees, palm trees, vines, fig and citrus trees.
The location of the Pump Station school is marked by a row of trees planted by the children on successive Arbor Days. Adjoining the school was the tennis court with portions of its rammed anthill material surface just visible beneath the vegetation.
The embankment for the former railway siding may be hidden behind encroaching vegetation, but dog spikes and railway sleepers may still be found.
Click on any map section or place below to discover The Golden Pipeline.