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Yarloop

History:
At the turn of the century the Miller brothers were the colony’s biggest timber exporters with dozens of mills operating in the south west. Millers built an extensive narrow gauge rail system. Yarloop, because of its proximity was selected as the site for the maintenance & service centre. With 26 major mills to keep productive, Yarloop Workshops thrived. At its peak, over 100 people worked here and a further 500 were employed in the Miller’s operations in the Yarloop area. Steam-driven Leviathans such as saws, winches, generators, stationary and locomotive engines were in constant use. The need to manufacture replacement parts locally was critical as they took months to arrive by sailing ship from overseas. Little was beyond the Workshops capacity.
The Workshops finally closed in 1978 after Cyclone Alby struck. It’s like a ghost factory now – a perfectly preserved moment in time – as though the workers had just knocked off with tools, machinery, stores and rolling stock ready for the next shift. As a record of the timber industry, Yarloop Workshops’ historical and archival worth is considerable. The insight it gives into the people that worked there and their skills and deeds is surely its great legacy. Today, several beautifully restored giants reside in the steam house, you will be amazed at how quietly they run.