100 years of people, settlements, industry and life captured with a series of iconic installations.
In 2008 the Shire of Manjimup celebrated its centenary and this celebration brought to the fore a widely held desire to capture the stories of our people. Thus, the Heritage Connections Drive Trail was born.
Local community members shared their narratives with the Shire of Manjimup, following which Northcliffe artist Tony Windberg captured these memories with a series of iconic installations.
Installations along the drive trail include:
The Apple Picker, located in Manjimup
The local story of one fruit, the apple, characterises our broader farming history. Our first small orchards were productive by the 1860s and by 1900 we were exporting apples to London. Later, the extension of the railway provided further impetus for the fledgling industry. Our region is now the largest apple producing area in WA. The climate is ideal, with water and land available to supply the growing world market. The resourcefulness of our earliest apple growers lives on in our orchards and other farming ventures today.
Butter Factory, located in Manjimup
For half a century, a river of milk and cream flowed into Manjimup from farms around the district. The destination – the Manjimup Butter Factory. Built in 1926, the factory brought industrialisation to the district, turning cream into butter and exporting it to the world. As conditions changed, the factory closed down and our dairy farmers found new destinations for their milk and cream. The building was reinvented with the opening of Stan’s Machinery, which went on to serve the farming community for 30 years. This icon stands proud as a reminder of the history of the site.
Cattle Trails, located on the South West Highway at the Northcliffe turn off
Cattle Trails pays homage to the many families who, on horseback, drove their cattle to the coast for annual summer grazing. Whilst this was a necessary part of the annual grazing pattern, it was also a way of life which children and adults alike held dear. The memories of those days are an intrinsic part of the folklore of our district and there are still several roads across the Shire, which today still follow those same droving routes. The Warren Blackwood Stock Route is a 360km bridle trail based on the historic stock droving routes of the original farming families of the South West. The trail stretches from the coast at Nannup to Broke Inlet near Walpole.
Cream Truck, located in Walpole
In the 1940s local dairy farmers from Walpole, Hazelvale, Nornalup and Tingledale were unhappy with the Great Southern Butter Factory in Denmark, so they decided to band together to send their produce from Walpole to Manjimup. This pivotal decision inextricably linked Walpole to the greater Manjimup district. The Walpole Cream Truck’s first run was in 1946. It was a 3 hour journey with trees, wildlife and potholes to be negotiated. It not only delivered the Walpole district’s cream to the Manjimup Sunny West Butter Factory, it was also a mail run, taxi service (if you could find a seat!) and would bring back meat, bread, stores, shoes and clothing.
Doc Ryan, located in Northcliffe
Hospitals, doctors and nurses: none of these existed when settlers first came to the district. Serious accidents and sickness were common, often fatal, in the early days of farming and milling. With settlement came the medical pioneers, the men and women who tended to all, from birth through to death and at all the times required in between. Doc Ryan pays homage to the medical fraternity. Clifford ‘Doc’ Ryan (AM) came to the district in 1937 and served the region for 43 years. Doc had many talents including anaesthesiology, radiology, chiropractic and pharmacy and the skill to help farmers identify problems with their livestock. Some say Doc would have rather been an engineer. He certainly had an innovative gift for building and repairing medical machinery.