Millstream Homestead

Author

Shire of Ashburton

Place Number

15368

Location

Millstream-Chichester National Park Millstream National Park

Location Details

Other Name(s)

CALM Visitors Centre

Local Government

Ashburton

Region

Pilbara

Construction Date

Constructed from 1919

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Aug 1999 Category B

Child Places

  • 01742 Shearer's Kitchen, Millstream Station

Statement of Significance

Millstream Homestead has aesthetic, historical, social, scientific and representative cultural heritage significance. The homestead is a good representative example of a pastoral station building constructed early in the 20th century, on a patoral lease typical of those first established in the 1800's. Despite some structural changes the homestead has significant heritage integrity. Long associations with one family reflect a strong relationship between man and the land. The introduction of exotic flora species is shows the need to carefully manage the property so that native trees survivie. Social value is found in the large number of people who visit the centre to appreciate both the built heritage of the homestead as wwell as the beauty of the natural landscape.

History

FT Gregory first discovered Millstream during an expedition in 1861. In his notes Gregory described the stream as having enough water to supply a large mill. In 1865 William Taylor took up a lease and proceeded to run sheep in the district. Soon after in 1866, McRae and McKenzie took over the leases, which they ran successfully until 1879. In that year the lease was sold for 16,000 pounds to the partnership of Padbury and Loton. Managed by Chas Elliot, the station continued to run sheep for over 30 years when the property was sold to the Cookson Brothers. From 1912 until 1950, the English brothers owned Millstream but the station was operated under the supervision of managers. Claude Irvine managed Millstream Station from 1912 to 1923 (except for a period when he joined the Lighthorse Infantry during World War I). Under his watchful eye the Millstream hmestead was constructed in 1919. In 1923 Irvine invited his randson Les Gordon to take over the position of Manager. Les and Nellie Gordon, with their three children, settled into a life at Millsteram and over the years developed a large vegetable garden. The garden expanded to include tobbacco and grapes. In 1950 the Gordons purchased Millstream from the Cookson Brothers. Unfortunately Les Gordon died soon after the transfer of ownership but hte station continued under the proprietorship of his sons Doug and Stewart. Doug and Stewart sold the staion t the Kennedy's in 1964 (and moved to Kellerberrin and Northhampton respectively). From 1964 the Kennedy's operated Millstream until the Public Works Department bought the lease. Between 1975 and 1986 the homestead was operated as a tavern. In this period the roof of the homes tead was completely restored. Timber trusses were replaced by steel and a modern suspended ceiling was installed. Under the management of the Tavern operator many people were attracted to the tavern. These included tourists as well as a large number of mine workers in the district. However, in the mid 1980's the clientele of the tavern went into decline as the local mining population changed. In 1986 the Department of CALM took over the lease on the Millstream Homestead. At first CALM advertised for new people to take over the homestead as tearooms, but nobody felt that this was a viable business. In 1989 CALM refurbished and renovated the facilities of the homestead. Original doors were put back in place and the homestead was opened as a visitor's centre. The Centre provides historical information from the region and provides numerous artefacts and information areas. Today approximately 20 to 25 thousand people visit the Centre per annum. There they can see some of the famous groves of palm trees. The introduced species of date palms, (The native species being hte livistonia palm) are being controlled as they are becoming a serious threat to the indigenous trees in the area.

Integrity/Authenticity

High Degree

Condition

Good

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Geof Kreger (Ranger in Charge Dampier Archipelago) ;"Reserach Notes". Interviewed by Cathy Day 18 Jan 1999

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Homestead
Present Use GOVERNMENTAL Office or Administration Bldg
Other Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn

Creation Date

28 Jan 2000

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.