200 Mile Tank

Author

Shire of Northampton

Place Number

17830

Location

North West Coastal Hwy Northampton

Location Details

Local Government

Northampton

Region

Midwest

Construction Date

Constructed from 1926

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 18 Nov 2005 Category 3

Statement of Significance

The Water Catchment Tanks, known as 200 Mile Tank or 100 Mile Tank, have high historic significance for the essential service they provided to travellers between Geraldton and Carnarvon since the mid 1920s. The tanks and the catchment shed provide important evidence of the long distances and isolation encountered by travellers and the essential role of a regular water supply in these conditions. Furthermore, 200 Mile Tank has considerable rarity value as the last remaining water catchment tank of the original eight constructed to service that section of the road.

Physical Description

Situated approximately 112 kilometres north of the town of Northampton and 62 kilometres north of the Kalbarri turn off, the tanks are located on the east side of the North West Coastal Highway in a clearing which is used as a resting place for travellers. The two 5000 gallon concrete tanks, located side by side on a concrete base, are covered by a large rectangular open sided shed which has a broken back, or 'butterfly', corrugated iron roof. The roof acts as a water catchment for the tanks below, with a centrally placed box gutter directing water into both the covered tanks. The roof is supported on iron posts; some of the iron being sections of old railway track which are stamped with "45lbs 1910 WAR Nes Co. Ltd MBRO". Due to the poor condition of the shed, the Main Roads Department replaced the white ant damaged joists with a steel superstructure clad with new corrugated iron in May 1998. There is evidence that the covering structure was painted cream in the past while the two tanks are covered in colourful graffiti. A small metal sign attached to the west fascia reads "Please do not waste water or damage tanks".

History

Prior to the mid 1920s people journeying north from Geraldton had to travel via Mullewa, Dairy Creek and Gascoyne Junction. However the opening of the direct road between Geraldton and Carnarvon in 1926 shortened the trip by approximately 160 kilometres. This road, which was not more than a rough bush track, went via Wooramel and followed the course of an old sandalwood track. It was around this time that eight water catchment tanks were built along the road by the Public Works Department as there was no reliable water between Northampton and Carnarvon. The tanks were named after their actual mileage from Carnarvon and were located at 40, 55, 85, 110, 125, 150,180 and 200 miles. The last tank, the subject of this place record form, was also referred to as 100 miles from Geraldton. Maintained by the Main Roads Department, the tanks were positioned along the side of the road to allow for a regular supply of water every 25 or 30 miles, providing a potentially life-saving function. Following the completion of bitumen surfacing of the road in c1966, it was no longer considered practical to maintain all the catchment tanks. Over the next few years the Main Roads Department called for tenders for the removal of the sheds. The Crawfords of Nerren-Nerren Pastoral Station were the successful tenderers for the removal of all the tanks along the road at that time except the 40 Mile (No. 1), the Shark Bay turn-off tank (No. 5) and the 200 Mile (No. 8). Some of the timber was used in constructing the homestead at Nerren-Nerren and extensions to the shearing shed. The 110 Mile (No. 4) was reused as the press-room at Nerren-Nerren woolshed, while corrugated iron tanks were used at various mills on Nerren-Nerren until their eventual deterioration and removal in recent years. The No. 5 Tank was dismantled following failed attempts to relocate it and the No. 1 Tank was the last to be removed, leaving only the No. 8 Tank. The Water Catchment Shed was partially rebuilt in May 1998 due to its poor condition.

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: Good Orig'l Fabric: Reasonably intact.

Condition

Fair

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
PWD Architect 1926 -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Shannon, R.K; "List of Catchment Tanks on Carnarvon-Geraldton Road";
Crawford HJ; "Correspondence H.J. Crawford of Nerren-Nerren Pastoral Co to Jim Lowrie". 17 May 1997;
Crawford HJ; "Correspondence H.J. Crawford of Nerren-Nerren Pastoral Co to Northampton Historical Society," 4 November 1997.

Place Type

Historic site

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use Transport\Communications Road: Other

Creation Date

30 Apr 2007

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.