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Home > Travelogues > 2010-2017 Travelogues Index > Mid West > Nanson

Settlement in the area which became Nanson commenced when Michael Morrissey established Mount Erin Station.

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Shire of Chapman Valley history

 

In 1909 the government began to plan the Upper Chapman railway and local farmers petitioned to have a town established at the 12 mile siding. The railway was opened in 1910 and the siding was named Lauder Siding, the locals then petitioned to have the name changed to Nansonville, named for the local Member of Parliament John Nanson. The Minister for Lands agreed to change the name to Nanson and the town was gazetted in 1910. The railway siding was renamed as Mount Erin in 1912 by the Railways Department which was used locally as the town's name, as well as for an agricultural estate surrounding the town. In 1915 the railway siding was renamed "Nanson" to prevent any confusion.  From Wikipedia

 

 

Chapman Valley Historical Society Museum at Nanson

 

Open March to end of November on Wednesdays 9 am to 1 pm and Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm.  Group bookings available by special arrangements. Contact 9964 3373 or 9921 2512.

The Upper Chapman Roads Board was formed on 16 January 1901. In 1910 the railway line reached the district and in October of that year the town of Nanson was gazetted. In 1912, when the growing population of the district required a dedicated Roads Board office, a referendum was held to decide whether it would be sited at Nanson or Nabawa to the north. Nanson won the vote. In 1913, the Nanson Roads Board Hall was built. 

Sourced from State Heritage

The Museum displays are housed in a large purpose built shed in the grounds of the former Shire headquarters.  In October 2015 a new shed was opened to hold larger machinery, allowing room for further displays in the main shed. 

This Chamberlain Tractor is amongst machinery now on display in the new shed.  Chamberlain was the first tractor manufactured in Western Australia (maybe in Australia) in the late 1040s and early 1950s. 
Mount Erin Station History
 
Michael Morrissey arrived at Fremantle 1842, from Waterford in Ireland.  In 1851, with financial assistance from George Shenton, Morrissey took up the first freehold pastoral lease of 64,000 acres in the Chapman Valley district, in what was then known as Paradise Valley.
 
On a small tributary of the Chapman River, about seven kilometres south of a huge flat-topped hill which he called Mount Erin, Morrissey constructed outbuildings of stone and pise (rammed earth) and a home of brickbats. Mount Erin was inherited by his two sons, John and Morris. Later the property was purchased by Forrest Emanuel and finally, in 1900, by Hubert Lee Steere. In 1904 the Government repurchased 56,840 acres of the station for the cost of 9,185 with the intention of subdividing the land.  
Resourced from State Heritage
The Nanson Agricultural Society held the first Show in 1950 at the Nanson Memorial Hall grounds.  In 1954 the Show moved to new grounds to the north of Nanson and south of Nabawa as the Chapman Valley Agricultural Society Show.  The Chapman Valley Annual Show has been running ever since.  The grounds are on part of a reserve, and the Chapman Valley Golf Course is adjacent.   
 
A local private plane came across the Showground and did spins and loop the loops.  The pilot's brother in law said "You don't want to go up with him" as the plane spun and somersaulted. 
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There are many short history posters on display in the front room of the Museum, as well as a file with photos of the churches and buildings designed by Monsignor John Hawes in the Mid West. 
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Chapman Valley Historical Society Museum at Nanson

 

Following the closure of the Nanson Roads Board Hall in 1964, the building was then used by the Country Women's Association as a meeting place until 1974. Having fallen into disuse and disrepair, the building was restored in 1983 by the Chapman Valley Historical Society. A small cottage which housed the Road Board Caretaker is located to the rear of the property and was restored in 2010.

 

Nabawa had grown in size and population and was regarded as better suited for the new Shire Offices which opened in 1964; the Roads Board having become the Shire of Chapman Valley on 1st July 1961.

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Read the fascinating story of Monsignor John Hawes, Architect, Builder, and Priest