The town of Meekatharra is in the Murchison goldfields, 765 kilometres north-north-east of Perth. It is 35 kilometres north-north-east of Nannine where the first goldrush on the Murchison Goldfield occurred in 1890. It is the major supply centre for the pastoral and mining in the Murchison region.
‘Meekatharra’ first appeared as the name of a pastoral lease applied for by A. and T. Cruickshank in July 1885. This name was derived from the spring on the property and is an aboriginal word meaning ‘a place of little water’.
The location of the spring was positioned by surveyor H.A. Wilson in May 1889. It was known locally as Clarkes Pool and Meekatharra Waterhole.
In late 1895, three prospectors, Meehan, Porter and Soych, pegged a claim at Meekatharra bringing it to the attention of the mining world. The first mining lease was issued to them in 1896 and the mine was called ‘The Meekatharra’. Their claim was near Meekatharra Spring.
By 1900 there had been sufficient growth at Meekatharra for the Meekatharra Progress Committee to write to the state government requesting a townsite be declared. A surveyor inspected the site and felt it premature but within a year a state battery had been established and the situation had changed. Lots were surveyed and land reserved for a townsite with formal gazettal of the townsite taking place in December 1903.
A railway station was established in August 1910, and the railway was in existence until May 1978.
The reports of the various trips, tours and travels on the Adventures website have a lot of information about place names – their naming and features – toponymy. More information.
© Kim Epton 2016-2019
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