Youanmi is an abandoned goldfields townsite 570 kilometres north-east of Perth in the locality of Sandstone.
Gold was discovered in the area in 1896, but was of insufficient richness to warrant being developed. The area was ‘rediscovered’ in 1908, and by 1910 there were sufficient miners in the area for the Youanme Progress Committee to request a townsite be declared. Following the survey of lots the townsite was gazetted in August 1910, spelt ‘Yuani’. This spelling was adopted because it was regarded as the correct spelling of the aboriginal name, and Youanme was a local corruption. However, it was soon realised that the gazetted spelling would lead to the name being mispronounced, and in December 1910 it was changed to the current spelling, Youanmi. The ‘mi’ at the end of the name is pronounced as in ‘me’.
Another spelling recorded for the name is ‘Euanni’. Coorang is also recorded as an alternative aboriginal name for the area. The name was first recorded for a spring in the area by a surveyor in 1887; it having been given to the surveyor by an old aboriginal accompanying him.
The meaning of the name is uncertain. Some sources suggest it relates to a type of mulga trees located around the spring or the bobtailed goanna, the aboriginal name of which is ‘Youan’ or ‘Uan’.
Youanmi – A Story of Murchison Gold by J.M. Hooper
Published by Hesperian Press, 1986.
ISBN 0 85905 104 8