News & Events

Hoover House Closed

Hoover House is undergoing major building works and is currently closed to the public.

Major restoration works is currently underway to enhance the appearance of Hoover House in the ghost town of Gwalia. Hoover House serves as a house museum, bed & breakfast and café managed by the Shire of Leonora.  All these facilities are scheduled to reopen early May 2018.

Shire of Leonora President, Peter Craig said, “The restoration works to Hoover House is costing slightly over $500,000 and is part funded by the Federal Government’s Community Development Grants Programme and the Shire of Leonora. The financial investment will offer a quality tourism product promoting growth in visitor numbers, increasing visitors' length of stay and deliver associated economic benefits to Leonora and the greater Goldfields region.”

The Sons of Gwalia mine manager’s house (now known as Hoover House) was built on the highest part of the hill overlooking the Gwalia settlement and the mining operations. The site for the construction of the house was chosen by Herbert Hoover the manager of the Sons of Gwalia Mine in 1898. Although the house was not completed by the time Hoover left to take up an appointment in China, he did return doing site inspections for Bewick Moreing & Co between 1902 and 1908. Hoover would become 31st President of the United States of America in 1929.


In 1899 Harry James was the first mine manager who occupied the house and he would establish the garden as a particular feature of the house. He is recorded as providing flowers and greenery from the garden for the opening of the Methodist Church in 1899.


After the Sons of Gwalia mine closed in 1963, Western Mining leased the house for their geologist until the 1980s. Don and Donna Reid (who established the Gwalia Museum) occupied the house from 1970 until the early 1980s. During this time the large garden was tended by a succession of Italian gardeners. The last being Curly Garbellini, an ex-miner from Sons of Gwalia gold mine who lovingly cared for the garden. Caretakers stayed in the house from 1995 and during this time it is said that the garden was almost destroyed by goats grazing on the plants.


Hoover House is a Federation styled single storey former residence of brick and iron construction. The main section of the house was constructed in 1898 with a few small additions constructed in the early 1900s. The house has undergone several campaigns of restoration in the mid-1930s, 1970s and was extensively renovated in 2001 when the verandahs were reinstated and the intrusive sleep-out and laundry facilities were removed.


 ‘Hoover House is currently closed to the public and it is estimated that the house will be re-opened early May 2018 when the restoration work and redecoration of the interior of the house is completed. The Shire of Leonora apologize for any inconvenience caused due to the closure.’, said Peter Craig, Shire of Leonora President.





Gwalia Upgrade Project

Conservation work in progress at Gwalia - old Mine Office and Assay building currently closed


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