Westonia (including Sandford)
Tiny town on the eastern edge of the wheatbelt
Westonia represents the eastern limit of the wheatbelt before the traveller enters the Goldfields. In fact the town¹s origins are more connected to the fortunes of the Goldfields than they are to those of the wheatbelt.
Located 310 km east of Perth and 52 km northeast of Merredin, Westonia came into existence with the discovery of gold by a sandalwood cutter named Alfred Weston at the Boodalin soak just north of the present town.
Like all gold towns Westonia boomed and then busted. In 1915 there were two major mining companies in the area and by 1917 the thriving township of Westonia had a population of 2000. The mining was inevitably tied to the gold price and the ease of extraction. In 1919 the mines closed down only to open again in 1935, it closed in 1948 and opened again in 1985.
Today Westonia is a tiny settlement of 250 people most of whom service the surrounding wheat and sheep area.
Things to see:
Edna May Tavern and Gold Mine
The only significant remnants of the first goldrush are the Edna May Tavern opposite the Shire Offices in Wolfram Street and the Edna May Gold Mine ruins which are located 1 km north of the town.
St Lukes Anglican Church
The weatherboard St Lukes Anglican Church in Wolfram Street was originally erected over 600 km east of the town at Naretha, a siding on the railway line. It was moved to Westonia in 1918.
There are a number of impressive granite outcrops in the area at Sandford (11 km northeast of the town) and on the road between Westonia and Southern Cross.