Sunday History Photo / WA

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 08:02
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Wagin is a town and shire in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, approximately 225 km south-east of Perth on the Great Southern Highway between Narrogin and Katanning. It is also on State Route 107. The main industries are wheat and sheep farming.

The name of the town is derived from Wagin Lake, a usually dry salt lake south of the town. The Aboriginal name is Waitjen, having been first recorded for the lake by a surveyor in 1869-72. There is uncertainty about the actual meaning of 'Wagin' but it is likely that it either means 'the place where emus watered' or 'Emu's watering hole'.

The first European explorer through the area was John Septimus Roe, the Surveyor General of Western Australia in 1835 en route to Albany from Perth. Between 1835 and 1889 a few settlers eked a simple living by cutting sandalwood and shepherding small flocks of sheep. Land was granted to pastoralists in the Wagin area from the late 1870s onwards.
The town itself came into existence after the construction of the Great Southern Railway which was completed in 1889 with the town originally called Wagin Lake. The local Agricultural Hall was built by 1896 and opened December 1 the same year. In 1898 Wagin was proclaimed a town with the word Lake dropped. A further railway connection with the Collie to Narrogin line at Bowelling was made on 10 December 1918.

Moran's Wagin Hotel is a fine example of the Federation Filigree style common in the Australian pub tradition as a two-storey hotel with verandahs, located on a prominent street corner. The building is an important element in the streetscape of Tudor and Tavistock streets, enhanced by the verandah and balcony which extend over the pavement.
The place is aesthetically linked with the Federal Hotel facing the railway line on the west side, and Palace Hotel on the opposite corner to the Federal Hotel on the east side of the railway line, with its parapet and verandahs that extend over the pavement.

The place has historic value as the first hotel site in Wagin. The place is a demonstration of the development that occurred in Wagin around the turn-of-the-century as it became the service centre of the district.
The original Wagin Hotel was built by James Spratt in 1889, which he demolished to build the two-storey structure that stands today. This hotel was the first built in Wagin. The new two-storey hotel was built c. 1900. The hotel was leased to Arthur Tunney (Tunney's name featured on the hotel facade) and later leased to J. C. Akers until 19212
The first church services of Roman Catholic and Church of England were held in the Wagin Hotel.

In September 1921, the hotel was taken over by James Moran who arrived in Wagin from the Coolgardie Goldfields after World War I. Moran held the licence until his death in July 1967. It is believed that he held the licence for a single hotel for the longest period in Australia. Since 1967, the family have continued to run the hotel.

The central cast iron pillar from Piesse's store was removed when part of Piesse's building was demolished in 1976, and now is in the middle of the dining room of the Wagin Hotel.

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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 08:14

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 08:14
Great story again, I spent a week in Wagin in 2015 [CMCA Solo's rally] a very friendly town. Only two pus open now.

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Reply By: 2 4 T - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 12:24

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 12:24
Many thanks. I enjoy history lessons.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 15:41

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 15:41
Thanks Doug another very interesting post.

Here is a photo I took in 2011 which clearly shows he is a ram and gives a better idea of its size.

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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 18:40

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 18:40
I took this photo of him ?19 ?August ?2006, when I was doing Pilot/Escort work
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Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 16:28

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 16:28
Good one Doug, I haven't got down that way - yet. They could certainly build beautiful buildings in those days.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 23:26

Sunday, Feb 05, 2017 at 23:26
Thanks Doug. Close to home, and my Great Grandfather farmed at Wagin, and my Grandfather spent his early childhood there.

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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Friday, Feb 10, 2017 at 05:44

Friday, Feb 10, 2017 at 05:44
Surely is a nice little town.
I parked up in the caravan park for 2 weeks last year to watch the Olympic Games.
Glad I did coz it rained nearly every day. lol

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