History and Heritage

Town Heritage Walk Trail

The Dowerin Heritage & Recreation Walk Trail is a gentle stroll throughout the town site on a trail of discovery highlighting the culturally significant buildings & sites that Dowerin has to offer.

Download the Heritage Walk Trail map for more information and stories relating to the use and development of each building/site for a further insight of pioneering history in Dowerin.

Enroute visit our range of church buildings, the site of the original Dowerin Shearing Shed and the Dowerin Showgrounds, now famous for the annual Field Days.

Download Heritage Walk Trail Map

Dowerin District Museum

A visit to the Dowerin District Museum offers a unique view of how settlers lived in a genuine cottage with furnishings from 1915- 1930's and various artefacts from around the district.

The building was originally built in 1915 by Eugene O'Shaughnessy to bring his new bride to Dowerin.

The story of the house and its inhabitants as told by Carmel Redding (daughter of Eugene O'Shaughnessy) are rich accounts of life in Wheatbelt WA in the first half of 20th Century.

Bookings are by arrangement through the Dowerin Visitors Centre or the Shire Administration Offices.

Dowerin District Museum

Dowerin Lakes & Old Dowerin

The name of the Shire and the town site of Dowerin is derived from the aboriginal word “Daren” given to a series of lakes – once fresher, some 8-10 kilometres south of the town. It was originally established as a watering hole and resting place for prospectors and travellers on their way to the goldfields.

It was first settled in 1895, but the railway in 1906 was unable to be built in the area and as a consequence, the town site was moved to the present site.

There is a brass plaque marking the spot where the original town reserve once stood.

Rabbit Proof Fence 2

Runs north/south through the eastern third of the shire, this fence was built in 1907- 1908 and much of it remains in good condition. Mileposts mark the distance from the south coast.

The fence originally went from Point Anne to north of Cue, where it turned east to join Rabbit Proof Fence No. 1 at Gum Creek.

It is one of three long fences in the state designed to control the rabbit plague, which could wreak enormous havoc in agricultural areas.

The fences failed in their purpose, although much time and money was expended to make them work.

They stand as a monument to human intention to control a pest, which was and is a national problem.

The fences are an indication of the widely held fear of the rabbit invasion and the limited and desperate ideas used to control the pest.