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Hopetoun (Mary Ann Haven)

Admiralty Reference # 1806.5
1909
- ~1983 - present

                                         

Photo by nflrin from Panoramio

1909 - ~ 1983 1992 - present

 

Historical background

  • In 1909 a fifth order leading light was established on a 25ft steel angle-iron tower.

  • The jetty was demolished in 1983 and the light tower which had been gradually deteriorating since the 1960's was probably demolished at the same time.

  • In 1992, the end of the breakwater was marked by a light on a post which is still in use today.

   Mary Ann Haven was important as a safe harbour over the years. By the 1820s the whalers and sealers from Van Diemen's Land, who hunted in the southern ocean, knew of the shelter which the Hopetoun area offered. The area was settled in the late 1860s by the Dunn brothers who spent their first three years there clearing scrub and building sheep yards.

   Hopetoun as an area really took off with the discovery of gold and copper by James Dunn at the Phillips River Goldfields near Ravensthorpe in 1898. Prospective miners would travel by ship from Albany or Esperance to Hopetoun then catch road transport up to Ravensthorpe. A jetty was built in 1901 and in that year a gold battery was shipped through the port.

   The importance of the port was short lived. The railway which connected Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun in 1901 was closed in 1925 and the port was effectively closed in 1936.

   Most recently the town had a resurgence of industry with the opening of the BHP nickel mine which then unfortunately closed in 2009. Hopetoun is now once again a sleepy hollow doing a great job of catering for tourists who love the unspoiled beauty of the coastline and national parks in the area while waiting for the new Canadian owners of the mines to start up again.

 

In the 1910's an additional navigation aid of two large towers were built. They represent the only pair of this size which have been identified.

Of interest is that now at the entry to the town there is a signpost marked on either side by two such markers. I would be very interested to know if they are meant to be replicas of the original markers, or even if the original markers still exist in location.

Photo from Panoramio by Sugarbag1 on the Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Rd.

 

References

Cumming et al: Lighthouses on the Western Australian coast and off-shore islands, 1995

TROVE - an online search engine of the National Library of Australia- digitised newspapers, Photos and other resources. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald February 8, 2004  http://www.smh.com.au/news/Western-Australia/Hopetoun/2005/02/17/1108500208473.html