Images of Mining & Life from the Past – VII

The final contribution of the collection of old images of the early mining days in the northern goldfields of Western Australia, mainly the old Sons of Gwalia Mine at Leonora but also many of other surrounding places.

See this link for a map showing Leonora and Gwalia

Sonsa Dean Din Ras 1909

An Afghan who lived along Nambi Road and had his own personal mosque


Oroya Black Range Gold Mine, Sandstone 1908


Smoke Stack

(The State Hotel in Gwalia is visible to the left)


Machinery Shed, Sons of Gwalia Mine


Sons of Gwalia 1977

The mine was liquidated in 1963 and did not reopen again until 1982. The new entity operated the mine until its being placed into administration in 2004


Images Circa 1963


Maintenance near Headframe 1941


Mine View 1941




Working Underground


Tool Sharpeners


Train Station, Gwalia


Mine 1926


Underground Shift


Atop the Gas Producers, Looking Towards the State Hotel


Tower Street 1905

The building to the right is the National Bank of Australasia – Now the Tourist & Information Bureau (See Here for today image)



Woodline locomotive in what today is the rear car park of the mine offices.

Ken’s Parking Spot During a Rainstorm in 2012



Images Associated with the Woodlines


Large quantities of timber are required for the development and running of the gold mines. This timber was not available locally and so a transport problem arose. The material required had to be shipped from its source to the lease and the best way considered to do this was by a small railway. An application was made for the constructing of the tramway and this was later granted to the Company.

The total area covered by the woodline was approximately 800 square miles. 4000 miles of 20″ gauge track. Only sufficient track was maintained to operate a few spur lines at one time. As an area became exhausted, the track was lifted (in sections complete with mulga log sleepers) and relaid in another area. The spur lines were laid 2 miles apart so that woodcutters were always within 1 mile of the track. The mulga cut was the fuel source for Sons of Gwalia Mine. About 30,000 tons of mulga of wood per year. The wood was used as fuel for boilers producing steam for the winder and to make producer gas for the engines in the power house. These engines drove the alternators generating the mines electricity and compressors producing the compressed air required. Woodline camps were very spartan. Each woodcutter had a small canvas hut with iron roof, which could be lifted onto a railway timber wagon and moved to the next campsite. Bough sheds were erected around the huts for additional shade and pens for chickens and goats were re-erected at each new campsite. Now, remains of bough sheds indicate the location of a campsite. Although a predominantly male occupation, some woodcutters had their families with them.

Washout of the Line at Lake Raeside

Railing Water 1941

Aerial – State Hotel in the background

The current mine offices are today located in the vacant plot in the centre of this image

Winder Wheels

Gold Pouring 1906


The Winder

Before the Fire in 1921



Sons of Gwalia Mine 1949


Wooden Head Frame


Tram Car and Barn 1905


Tram 1903


Station Creek Homestead 1904


Trucks in Tower Street, Leonora


Todd Bros Coach Factory


The Mail Car


The Workers Club 1920


The Old Hotel Murrin Murrin 1905


The Smelter, Annaconda Copper Mine, Eulaminna 1900


Tatterstalls Hotel Mt Morgans


Sandalwood Cutters, Wilsons Patch