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Northam

Northam is a large town situated 97 kms east of Perth on the Great Eastern Highway. It is a major regional centre with a concentration of local commerce, government offices and community services supporting surrounding areas. It hosts a major rail interchange for east-west freight services. The town is located on the Avon River. Settlement commenced in 1849/1850 and the town is named after one of two villages in England but this is unconfirmed


 
 
 
 
 

Northam - Avon River Bridge

The approach to Northam from Perth or Toodyay. The mill and the Weston Milling grain silo have, for many years, provided a welcoming beacon to Northam. The flour mill was constructed in 1867 and opened in 1871. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM001

 

Northam - Avon River Bridge

The mill again this time viewed across the bridge (Newcastle Street) which spans the Avon River and is part of the main east-west route. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM002

 

Northam - Avon River Bridge

Looking from south to north on the town side of the bridge which reflects artistically in the river. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM003

 

Northam - Avon Bridge Hotel

The Avon Bridge Hotel just down from the road bridge was established in 1858 making it 151 years old. It is pretty quiet today but the hotel trades on and is especially busy at the Avon Decent time. At one time the Avon Bridge Hotel was known as the Railway Hotel. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM004

 

Northam - Wilding's Hotel

Next door to the Avon Bridge Hotel is this old stone building. It is actually part of the Avon Bridge Hotel now and houses the restaurant. This is all that is left of the original Wilding's Hotel which was built in 1860. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM005

 

Northam - Department of Agriculture

Diagonally across the intersection from the Avon Bridge Hotel is this well maintained old building. This was originally the Agriculture Department and these days it is occupied by the Department of Child Protection. This building was erected in 1913. At one time the Lands Office was in here. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM006

 

Northam - Peel Terrace Bridge

The Peel Terrace Bridge was built in 1955 and it crosses the Avon River perhaps a kilometre or two upstream from the Newcastle Road Bridge. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM007

 

Northam - Avon River Weir

A little further upstream from the Peel Terrace Bridge is the Avon Weir, built to shore up water levels in the section of river which runs through town. The Weir was constructed in 1907-1908. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM008

 

Northam - Avon River Weir

Here is the Northam Weir spanning the Avon River looking west. Off to the right of picture is a very sturdy bridge which supports the main east-west standard gauge railway line. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM009

 

Northam - Avon Descent Starting Box

On the east bank of the river, just behind the main town shopping centre is this small tower and box which is the starting point of the annual Avon River Descent. October 2012.Photos Ref: NRTM010

 

Northam - Avon River Fountains

Climbing up the Avon River Descent starting tower, this is a view upstream, across a quartet of attractive fountains, looking towards the suspension bridge. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM011

 

Northam - Avon River Suspension Bridge

This suspension bridge spans the Avon River. It has a 117 metre span and was built in 1975 by Cloughs. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM012

 

Northam - Avon River White Swan

Back in 1896 a number of white swans were released on the Avon River in Northam. At one time they numbered a hundred or more. I only saw perhaps a dozen today but many I am sure were in other locations. The swans are protected and are a town tourist attraction. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM013

 

Northam - Sound Shell

There is a very attractive park on the town side of the river and in it is this Sound Shell and a few statues, two of which are visible here. The Sound Shell was built by the Shire of Northam and was opened on 19th November 2011 by Mr Darren West, Chairman of the Wheatbelt Development Commission. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM014

 

Northam - Fitzgerald Street

A view down Fitzgerald Street on a Sunday afternoon. Very, very quiet - I wonder where everyone is? Especially just after visiting Toodyay, which was really bustling. Bear in mind though that these days the main highway by-passes the town centre. Weekdays are quite the opposite. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM015

 

Northam - Shamrock Hotel

The Shamrock Hotel bends around a corner on Fitzgerald Street. Looks great in the morning sunlight. Until recently this place had a verandah over the lower stone areas. The hotel has been here since 1866. It was originally called the Farmer's Home Hotel. At one stage it was called Riley's Bar. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM016

 

Northam - Shamrock Hotel and Hills

Looking back down one of the side streets off Fitzgerald Street you can see the Shamrock Hotel plus houses in the north-west and beyond that straw coloured-hills. Between the back of the hotel and those houses is the Avon River. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM017

 

Northam - Shamrock Hotel

The Shamrock Hotel pictured in 2009 before the street over-hang was removed. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM018

 

Northam - Throssell Emporium

This building is now home to Avon Car Upholsters. Built in 1862, it was originally called the Throssell Emporium. Later it became Throssell, Son & Stewart. It was the Big Store between 1914 and 1916. The building has also been known as Northam House. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM019

 

Northam - Railway Station

The front or roadside view of the current Northam railway station. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM020

 

Northam - Railway Station

Here is a look track-side of the current Northam railway station. In the foreground is part of a very small elevated area which serves as carriage-level platform for those boarding or alighting the Prospector or Avon Link. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM021

 

Northam - Old Railway Station

In the south-west end of town where the old railyards were, here still exists the original Northam railway station, well preserved. You can go in most days and have a look around. Entry is a mere $2.00. The station is of 1900 vintage. The very last train to stop here was "The Mullewa" in the evening of 13th February 1966. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM022

 

Northam - Old Railway Station

This is a view track-side of the old station. This is looking down the platform. A few old railcars have been preserved which you can go into plus PMR721 steam locomotive. Many rooms are open in the station, which serves as a district museum, and not just solely devoted to railways. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM023

 

Northam - Old Railway Station Sign

Just east of the old station is this tumble-down platform and Northam station sign. To the rear a few old rail vans can be glimpsed through the trees. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM024

 

Northam - Grand Hotel

On Fitzgerald Street, just across from the old railway station, is the former Grand Hotel which was constructed in 1895. Proximity to the railway station made the hotel popular with both rail workers and passengers. This is now a private residence. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM025

 

Northam - St John's Anglican Church

St John's Anglican Church viewed through the gum trees on Wellington Street. Inside is a rare (in country W.A.) pipe organ. The Foundation Stone was laid by the Bishop of Perth, Dr Parry, on 2nd April 1889. The church was consecrated in 1890. May 2009. Photos Ref: NRTM026

 

Northam - Post Office (former)

Lovely brickwork makes this craft shop look great. It's on Wellington Street. This used to be the town post office before it moved to more central premises on Fitzgerald Street. The building was constructed in 1873. It is now operated by the Avon Valley Arts Society and is open daily, 10-3pm weekdays and 11-3pm weekends. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM027

 

Northam - Old Girls School

Next door to the craft shop on Wellington Street is the old Girl's School. Art classes are now held here as part of the C.Y. O'Connor Institute curriculum.  This building was constructed in 1877 and was opened as a girl's school in December 1896. It was acquired by the Northam Town Council for preservation. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM028

 

Northam - St James Anglican Church

Northam has two Anglican Churches, this one and the larger St John's. This is St James Church. The Foundation Stone was laid by David T. Morrell, Esq., J.P. on June 21st 1911. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM029

 

Northam - Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel on Fitzgerald Street. This was constructed for Mr Michael Cody who also had the Grand Hotel built around about the same time. The Commercial Hotel was constructed in 1902-1903. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM030

 

Northam - Fitzgeralds Hotel

Another hotel in town, this time Fitzgeralds on Fitzgerald Street which incorporates the Fountain Restaurant. This was formerly known as the Tatt's Hotel. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM031

 

Northam - Memorial Hall

The Northam Memorial Hall on the main street looks rather 1960's in its design. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM032

 

Northam - View along Fitzgerald Street

A view looking east along Fitzgerald Street from down towards the west end. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM033

 

Northam - Post Office

As most post offices do, this one certainly dominates the streetscape on Fitzgerald Street. The building was constructed in 1908. The previous post office is now a craft shop on Wellington Street. There was a very early post office in Northam located in a room at the old railway station. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM034

 

Northam - Northam Advertiser Building

The former Northam Advertiser newspaper office established in 1893. Now home to Northam Locksmiths. It was recently the premises of the Avon Advocate Newspaper. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM035

 

Northam - National Australia Bank

The NAB seems to be almost the sole provider of banking services in many country towns along Great Eastern Highway east of town.  Northam, being a larger centre however, has representation by Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth banks. This fine brick building is at 141 Fitzgerald Street and dates back to 1940. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM036

 

Northam - Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank. This is rather a grand building and looking up the side, all the building behind this facade is made of good-old solid bricks. This was built in 1923 and it seems it has always been a Commonwealth Bank. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM037

 

Northam - Union Bank Building

'Directions' (which appears to be a Training organisation) occupies this building which used to be the ANZ Bank (the night deposit box is still there). There is a new fully-functional ANZ Bank in the main shopping centre. The building was erected in 1905 as the Union Bank. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM038

 

Northam - State Housing Commission

Sturdy looking Antiques and Collections shop. Faintly, at the top of the building, you can make out 'Homes West'. Homes West only came into being in the 1970's when the State Housing Commission assumed than name. This was built in 1906 and indeed the State Housing Commission occupied it at that time. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM039

 

Northam - Northam Shire Council Building

'Focussed' organisation occupies this fine old building on Fitzgerald Street. This building was built in 1908 and in prior years the Northam Shire Council and the National Bank have occupied it. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM040

 

Northam - Northam Hotel

The Northam Hotel is more or less right in the centre of town on the main street and seems to be quite well patronised this Sunday afternoon. This was built in 1887. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM041

 

Northam - Bank of Australasia Building

Mayberry Hammond and Co. is a law firm whose presence in Northam goes back decades. They occupy this impressive building on Fitzgerald Street. It was built in 1918 and as the Bank of Australasia. The bank operated until 1943 at which time Goldsborough Mort acquired the premises. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM042

 

Northam - Colonial Tavern

At 197 Duke Street is the Colonial Tavern. This was erected in 1906 as McCarthy's Hotel. It has also been variously known as the the Colonial Hotel, the Club Tavern, the Club Hotel and the Duke's Inn. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM043

 

Northam - Temperance Hostel

Towards the west end of town is the Northam Guest House which seems to offer budget, longer-term room tenancies. This was built in 1877 for The Hope of Northam Good Templar Lodge and thus became the unlicensed Temperance Hostel. It was also once known as Clearview House. During the influenza epidemic of 1919, the premises served as an isolation hospital for those infected. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM044

 

Northam - Railway Institute

The West End Convenience Store at 182 Wellington Street. This building used to be the Railways Institute Hall. It was built in 1898 and extended in 1940. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM045

 

Northam - Town Hall

Here is the Northam Town Hall which sits on the corner of Gordon and Wellington Streets. The building's Foundation Stone was laid by Mayor C. R. Knight on 21st June 1897. One hundred years later the buildings underwent extensive restoration and a plaque unveiled by Mayor J. E. Smith on 12th April 1997 commemorates this. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM046

 

Northam - Uralia

Uralia is located on Gordon Street and was built as a residence in 1902 by George Throssell. From 1923 to 1948 the building was known as Rosalyn and operated as a private maternity hospital. From 1948 to 1973, this continued as a maternity hospital and was run by the Sisters of St John of God. It closed as such when the Northam public hospital was opened. Today this is a private residence and the owners sell antiques. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM047

 

Northam - Uralia

At the rear of Uralia is this small building. The current owners suggested that when this place operated as a hospital this might have been used as nurses' quarters. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM048

 

Northam - Masonic Lodge Building

Stone Court is on the corner of Duke and Gordon Streets and is now a private residence. Originally this was the Masonic Lodge built in 1900 to their typical solid design. Later it was a restaurant. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM049

 

Northam - Uniting Church

Next door to Stone Court on Duke Street is the Uniting Church. At the rear there seems to be a much older structure. It has two Foundation Stones - one laid by Mr J. H. Gregory on 25th September 1901 and the other by Mr N. J. Stewart, on the same date. This was built as a Methodist Church. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM050

 

Northam - Presbyterian Church Building

The Link Theatre occupies the former St Paul's Presbyterian Church on Duke Street. The Foundation Stone is very weathered and hard to read but I think the name is G. Throssell, laid on 8th August 1908. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM051

 

Northam - Old Fire Station

On Duke Street near to the Link Theatre is the old fire station which is now the Northam Toy Library. There is a Men's Shed out the back. This was built in 1929, replacing an earlier 1903 utility. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM052

 

Northam - James Mitchell House

Sir James Mitchell House is on the corner of Duke and Hawes Streets. This was constructed in 1905 for Sir James Mitchell and his wife Clara. Sir James was W.A. Premier for 8 years over two separate premierships between 1921 and 1933 and later became Governor of W.A. Premier Richard Court opened this building and named it thus on 6th June 1995. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM053

 

Northam - Courthouse

The courthouse on Wellington Street. Next door is the old police station. The building was opened By Hon. F. H. Piesse M.L.A., Director of Public Works, on 29th June 1896. At that time C. R. Knight Esq. was the Mayor of Northam. The design of this building is almost identical to of that of the courthouse in Beverley. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM054

 

Northam - Sports and Recreation

Next to the library on Fitzgerald Street in the local branch of the Department of Sport and Recreation. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM055

 

Northam - Narrow Gauge Rail Bridge

At the west end of Northam this rail overpass crosses Mitchell Avenue. This is a view of the narrow gauge track as it passes onwards to the south and into Northam - perhaps from York. Underneath the bridge and alongside the road is the Kep Track which is an old railway easement and is navigable (no motor bikes or cars though) all 71 kms to Mundaring Weir. October 2012. Photos Ref: NRTM056

 

Northam - Hot Air Ballooning

A few kilometres east of Northam I saw this hot-air balloon making a low pass over the stubble in this paddock. It was only around 7.30am on a crisp Sunday winter morning but the enthusiasts were out in force. There were three or four balloons in the sky that I saw this morning and probably many that I didn't. June 2011. Photos Ref: NRTM057


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