|The road 7km outside Corrigin
A typical attractive wheatbelt town
Located 225 km south east of Perth and 295 metres above sea level, Corrigin is a neat and tidy town (it has won the Tidy Town award a few times) which is one of the most recent towns to appear in the wheatbelt. The town's road board wasn't established until 1913 and the railway didn't arrive until the following year. The apparent reason for this late development was that the major settlement factors in the wheatbelt (Hunt's wells, the railway, the movement of miners on their way to the Goldfields) all by passed the site of the current town. Consequently while there were sheep being run in the district as early as the 1860s (the leases of the Parker family - see Quairading - extended down into the present Corrigin Shire area) it wasn't until 1872 that D. G. Lynch took up a lease of 1000 acres which included Corrigin Well that any permanent settlement took place.
A boom in sandalwood prices in the early 1880s saw the ubiquitous sandalwood cutters move in to cut out as much of the aromatic timber as they could find. But it wasn't until the early part of the twentieth century that significant numbers of people moved into the area to take up land and to settle permanently. Today the town has a population of around 800 people who service a shire of around 1600.
There is an interesting book on the history of the town and the area by Ross Haig titled Corrigin: Pioneering Days and Beyond.
Things to see:
|The Dog Cemetery outside Corrigin
The Dog Cemetery
The surprising thing about Corrigin is that the town's most unusual and interesting attraction seems to be passed over by the Tourist Information Office. About three or four kilometres out of town on the road to Quairading is a dog cemetery where loving owners have gone to the expense of having quite elaborate headstones placed over the remains of their faithful four legged companions. Thus very human looking gravestones are dedicated to 'Dusty', 'Rover' and 'Spot'. To find such a strange place outside an unassuming little wheatbelt town like Corrigin is both fascinating and bizarre. Is this the resting place of the local sheep dogs or is it restricted to pampered domestic pets?
Corrigin Pioneer Museum
The town's other main attraction is the Corrigin Pioneer Museum which has a truly superb collection of old agricultural equipment including an original Sunshine harvester and some early steam driven farm machinery. An additional attraction in the Museum complex is a small steam train which carries passengers on a short circuit around the museum and the attached rest area. It is located on Kinjin Street (the main east-west route through the town).
Wildflowers and Granite Outcrops
The area's natural features include a wildflower scenic drive which is located 3 km west of the town on the main Perth road and a large granite outcrop known as Gorge Rock which is located 20 km southeast of the town. Like so many of the granite outcrops in the wheatbelt Gorge Rock was dammed to collect rainwater runoff and for many years was used as the town's swimming pool.