Yarloop: a town steeped in history | PHOTOS

Historic town destroyed

Resident flees fire

Yarloop residents angry over water shortage

No one is exactly sure how Yarloop got its name.

There are those who say it originated from the words “yard loop”, referring to the rail loop into the town’s timber yard.

More likely is the name came from local Bindjareb Nation people.

Yalup Brook is just five kilometres north of the townsite, and the similarity in pronunciation and the early spellings of the town name – Yailoup and Yarloup – support the theory the name is Aboriginal.

The town began, as many in the area did, with farmers moving to the area.

In 1849 Joseph Logue farmed near Cookernup.

He was followed by WJ Eastcott and John Bancells.

In 1894, Charles and Edwin Millar moved into the district looking to put nearby stands of jarrah to use - they had exported jarrah blocks to London for use in street paving.

They soon established their own 300-acre (1.2 km2) timber town with accommodation and support facilities, located 2 kilometres south of a government-surveyed town site as the company wished to maintain effective control over staff and workmen.

A company town was established, and in 1896 a siding on the Perth-Bunbury rail line was built.

In the early 1900s Yarloop was comparatively booming, with more than 500 people employed at the timber mill.

By the 1930s Yarloop had the biggest private railway in the world, with eight railway systems and 25 trains.

In 1984 the town was classed as a conservation area by the National Trust and came under protection by the Yarloop Conservation Plan.

Since its heyday, Yarloop has been home to farmers, orchardists and commuters.

It included hundreds of restored timber dwellings, and housed the historical steam workshops.

The town had its own school, hotel, post office, bowling club, community centre and shops.

Devastating bushfires levelled Yarloop on January 7.

Up to 110 homes were destroyed, as well as numerous other buildings.

Crucial infrastructure was knocked out, with some wondering if the town could ever rise again.

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