Mornington Mill Historic Site 1899

Mornington Mill Historic Site 1899
The Mornington Adventure Camp is the site of the original Mornington Mill town. Established in Millar Brothers Timber Company, Mornington was in full operation in 1899 until it moved to Yarloop in 1964.

Mill Manager, Henry Smith (‘Big Smith’) supervised the building of Mornington Mill for owners Charles and Edwin Millar. Once completed, the general manager, Henry Teesdale Smith (Little Smith) oversaw mill operations.

In addition to the usual twin circular saws, one of its two mills operated a vertical saw. Among the locomotives at Mornington was ‘The Jubilee’, the train involved in the 1920 crash.

A five million gallon dam supplied the mill’s water and later to each home, via a single tap.

Initially, a company-paid matron ran a hospital served by Doctors Cameron and Day-Lewis. Later, a company doctor from Yarloop visited weekly.

The strictly controlled company town accommodated workers and boasted a company store, a hall, boarding houses and dwellings with no bathrooms (rented at one shilling per room per week). Dances and movies provided regular entertainment. Mornington also had two churches and a school that, in 1930, enrolled 132 children.

It was a ‘dry’ town, inviting regular visits to Wokalup or to ‘Kelly the Mug’ who operated sly grog on his private property outside town. It was suggested that he also ran a brothel.

Rail cargo restrictions prevented the company store from selling newspapers, so ‘Mandell the Jew’ delivered papers from a cart pulled by his horse, Lily Pond.

The company-authorised privately owned ‘sweets’ shop, which was acknowledged as a blind for a betting shop.


“During boronia season, Millars would provide a Sunday picnic train and take Mornington Mill residents out to Treesville for the day to pick boronia. As a young child, I remember picking armfuls of boronia. We were always told never to pull out the roots and to only pick the flowers. We had a wonderful time in the bush.” 
Mrs O, Harvey for Memories of Harvey

Mornington Mill Historic Site 1899

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