Historical Collections

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Large Objects

Timber Incline Headframe

Sons of Gwalia Headframe

The headframe is the only surviving large timber incline headframe in Australia and one of very few timber headframes of any size from the 19th century still in existence world-wide.

  • The main structure of the timber incline headframe was built between 1896 and 1898. Substantial extensions were made in 1912 with the installation of the steam winder.
  • Internal sections associated with the tipping of skips, separation of fine and coarse ore, chutes and primary crushing facilities were modified several times during the operation of the mine to suit changing mining techniques, crushing and treatment plant facilities.

Steam Winder

The 1912 Fraser and Chalmers winder is the largest of its type in Australia and one of only three remaining in the world.

  • The 1912 Fraser and Chalmers steam-driven winder is complete and is an impressive example of winding technology of that era.
  • The winder, which during its working years lowered thousands of men into the mine to start their daily shift, is of high cultural significance.
  • The imposing winder and steam cylinders are positioned on substantial concrete and brick foundations.

Passenger Tram

  • The first passenger tram in regional Western Australia ran between Leonora and Gwalia from 1903 to 1921. 
  • The Leonora Municipal Council purchased the private tramway and established a service between Leonora's Federal Theatre and Gwalia's State Hotel and railway siding.

Woodline Train Enigne

  • Staff on the Sons of Gwalia Mine suggested that the locomotive be named ‘Ken’. The nickname was derived from the first letters of surnames of each of the three Sons of Gwalia directors – Kluge, Edquist and Newman. 
  • Soon after its arrival at the mine, the train engine was renamed ‘Midland’, consistent with company tradition of naming its locomotives after the places in which they were built. ‘Midland’ replaced the name ‘Ken’ on the sides of the locomotive.
  • ‘Midland’ is one of three steam engines that worked on the Woodlines (rail lines to timber-cutting settlements), supplying the Sons of Gwalia mine with timber and fuel.

Mine Level Model

The timber, brass and glass mine level model, constructed in London circa 1938, is the only remaining mine model depicting the workings of the Sons of Gwalia Mine. The model comprises thirty-four horizontal glass panels with hand painted lettering, each depicting an underground level of workings of the Sons of Gwalia Mine. 

Click on a thumbnail to view a slideshow of all of the images in this gallery.