The Way It Was
For an insight into days gone by, look no further, wonderful museums and murals showcase history, from photographs, to farm implements, windmills to transport, it's all on display, waiting for you to take a step back in time.
Old buildings abound, all with a story to tell, the best way to see them is to take a walk around town. Heritage walk information is available at most tourist centres. You are invited to stay in some of these outstanding buildings, now beautiful bed and breakfast accommodation.
Have you noticed the railway line, once the lifeblood of the west, now used to cart grain and minerals to the sea port of Geraldton. Only the occasional passenger train runs nowadays.
From the gold mining ghost town of Rothsay to the coal mining shafts at Coalseam there is evidence of the role mining had in the area's development. Home to Australia's first iron ore shipment, the largest talc mine in the southern hemisphere and a range of minerals from gold to mineral sand, copper to coal.
Hawes Heritage Trail
The Hawes heritage trail is a journey of inspiration and surprise, revealing some of the finest architecture in the state. Monsignor John Hawes legacy is a trail of beautiful churches, from the splendid cathedral in Geraldton to tiny country chapels. Every structure is different, designed in harmony with the land and consisting mostly of rough textured local stone and simple lines.
A British born architect who spent time as an Anglican Minister in the Bahamas before converting to Catholicism, Hawes spent just 24 years in Australia in which time he designed and in some cases built 15 churches. Upon his return to the Bahamas, using the name of Father Gerome, he continued to design and build many churches and colleges. An amazing man, he is a legend both in the mid-west WA and overseas, one of the truly great men of our century.
Settling in Mullewa he serviced a large and scattered parish on horseback, designing and building Our Lady of Mt Carmel, an exquisite little church in Romanesque / Mediterranean style of rough – hewn stone. The lovely little priest house he built next to the church is now a museum dedicated to him. He conducted open air masses for the local aboriginal people outside Mullewa where a large rock served as the alter. In the Mullewa Pioneer Cemetery is a headstone Hawes made for an altar boy who died in tragic circumstances.
Many other churches, convents and school buildings were designed by John Hawes including St Mary's Convent and Christian Brothers Agriculture School in Tardun, Church of the Holy Cross in Morawa, St Joseph's Church in Perenjori and St Andrew's Church in Carnamah.
Hawes managed to conceive totally different designs for his churches based on their environment. The church of St Joseph in Perenjori is simplicity personified with stark, geometric lines, rendered walls and iron roof. In contrast, but equally simple is the Church of the Holy Cross in Morawa, built of rough-hewn local stone, red Spanish tiles and cool, blue and white rendered interior. Behind the Morawa church stands a small, one-roomed hermitage, probably 'the smallest presbytery in the world', typical of Hawes' spartan lifestyle.
Most of these buildings are locked, please check at Visitor Centres for keys.
For more information, please visit www.monsignorhawes.com.au.