Historical Information and Pictures
The Sons of Gwalia Mine was established in 1896 and termed by its Welsh syndicate as the word Gwalia being the Welsh term for Wales. Gwalia is a primitive Latin name for Wales which turn into popularity in Welsh-language poetry in the 19th century. Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933), served as the mine manager in its early days from May to November 1898. This small town can claim to have once been the second main gold mine in Western Australia, the first State hotel and have been the site of the state’s first tramway.
The area around Gwalia was first discovered by John Forrest in 1869 but it wasn’t while waiting for 1896 that prospectors, strained to the area by the enormous finds at Southern Cross, Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie exposed gold near the existing site of Leonora. That same year the ‘Sons of Gwalia’ reef was discovered by Carlson, White and Glendinning. They worked it for a short-term time before selling out to George Hall for £5000 and earnt his entire savings after one month.
By looking for additional capital, Hall started negotiations with a London firm, Bewick Moreing, who sent very young 23 years old Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer, to the site. Hoover suggested himself as manager of the project and proposed Bewick Moreing for buying the mine, which they did with a cash commitment of £100,000 on 17 November 1897. By suggesting himself as manager of the project, he fruitfully abridged costs at the mine by hiring Italian labor. Gwalia had a momentous Italian community for the rest of its existence.
From the most primitive days, there was extensive competition between Leonora and Gwalia. Leonora was plotted in 1897 and it acquired shops and a variety of services quickly. However, as Gwalia’s mining operations offered the most consistent and reliable work in the area, people started to settle down near the mine first in camps and far ahead in simple, dirt floor cottages that were made with timber frames and covered with ribbed iron.
A ceasefire between the two towns happened in 1903 when a tram service was built between the two settlements. However, by the 1920s Gwalia was viewing signs of doubt and uncertainty. Its presence depends on exclusively on the Sons of Gwalia mine and when 400 men were dismissed, the community was destroyed.
After this the fortunes of the town, the mine was defenseless to changes in the price of gold and other external factors. The town literally deceased overnight on 21st December 1963 when the mine closed. The population of around 1500 was condensed to 40 people by early January 1964 and the Gwalia Hotel had been closed.
Herbert Hoover’s quotes are as inspiring, motivational, encouraging and outstanding as he himself was. His saying gave the message of optimism, hard work, hope, freedom, children, family and many more.