Glen Forrest Heritage Walk

Morgan John Morgan Park - Morgan John Morgan Park

Glen Forrest Heritage Walk

Morgan John Morgan Park - Morgan John Morgan Park

Staff Pick
43 m
2.88 km

This heritage walk takes you around the village of Smiths Mill, today Glen Forrest, first settled in 1877 by Alfred Smith.

Glen Forrest Heritage Walk

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This heritage walk takes you around the village of Smiths Mill, today Glen Forrest, first settled in 1877 by Alfred Smith.


The original name for this area was designated 'Amherst', but this was never used. Until 1915, it was known as Smith's Mill, after which it changed to Glen Forrest. The area was originally home to the York Greenmount Sawmill owned and first run by Alfred Smith then later by his son Thomas. The Eastern Railway came through in 1884, which provided more impetus for settlement and development in this area.
Early industries in the area were gravel pits, brickworks, orchards, nurseries and vineyards. All these relied upon the railway to get their produce to market. In 1901 Thomas Statham set up the local 'Darling Range Quarries Fire Brick and Gravel Co.' which produced both fire bricks and building bricks that were used throughout the state, up to the 1960s.
The 100 ac Hardey Vineyard was set up by Richard Watson Hardey in 1882. It was alleged that drinkers were enjoying free drinks at this vineyard whilst a poll was run to decide which pubs would close. The local Forrest Arms was delicensed as a result of the poll in 1921.
Another major business in the area was Jacob Hawter's 'Darling Nurseries', established in the 1890s, at the end of Hawter Road. This nursery supplied fruit trees across WA.
In 1903, a tragedy took place at Lauffer's Nursery at the end of Hardey Rd, where Charles Lauffer was murdered by Frederick Maillat, who was later hanged.
Government-owned land around the railway was surveyed into smaller lots, suitable for housing in the early 1900s.
After the railway closed in 1954 the village continued to grow, more people took up residence, and sporting and retail facilities expanded. Today it is a thriving town.

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Points of Interest

1. Morgan John Morgan Park- He was the longest serving station master (1929-51). Photo 1980's

Start at the BBQs. This was named as a park in 1979 and a playground was built soon after with a railway theme. It was upgraded in 2016, funded by the Shire and a Lottery West grant.

2. Community Garden - 56 Hardey Rd. photo courtesy J. Currell 2014

First proposed by residents in 2008, the community group was incorporated in 2013 and leases a 1/4 acre from the Shire.

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3. Smiths Mill School - 34 Tillbrook St, built in 1895. Photo courtesy RIA c 1902.

It had 2 rooms - classroom & teacher quarters. From 1897 it was the head teachers’ house. It replaced an earlier school in a shed at the Mill. Demolished in 1973 when more classrooms were needed.

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4. Glen Forrest School - 34 Tillbrook St. Built in 1897. Photo courtesy Battye 1903

This larger brick building was erected using local bricks and still stands within the school grounds. From 1905, the school times were rung out by a bell from a Baldwin locomotive.

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5. Tillbrook House (Deva Cottage) -17 Burkinshaw Rd. Built c1896 Photo courtesy B. Callow, 1995.

Built by Robert Tillbrook, who was a woodcutting and carting contractor at Smiths Mill. He accidentally died in 1910 loading wood in the station yard. Jane was left to raise their 4 youngest children.

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6. Burkinshaw Gravel & Clay Pit - 1895. Photo courtesy Mrs Hilda Lanyon 1903.

William (father) & George (son) Burkinshaw developed these gravel pits to provide material for city roads. Clay found below the gravel was used to make bricks locally at their 'Vulcan Brickworks'.

7. George Burkinshaw's House (Rosedale) - 8 Burkinshaw Rd. Photo courtesy B Callow, 1995.

A brick house was built for George c1891 after he married Rose Timewell. George worked the gravel pits and later the 'Vulcan Brickworks'. This street was named after the Burkinshaw family.

8. To the left is Thomas Smith's House -16 Harold St. Built c1883 Photo 2009

Thomas Smith built this mud brick house after he married Julia Barker in 1883. They raised 10 children here and where Thomas remained until his death in 1942. It is the oldest house in Glen Forrest.

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9. 'Forrest Arms Hotel'/'Hostel'/'Braidwood' - 28 William St. Built 1897 by W Green Photo RIA c1903.

There were 14 publicans over 24 years, the longest serving being E J J Wood (1910 - 21). It was delicensed in 1921 then was a hostel until 1958, later becoming a private residence called 'Braidwood'.

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10. Station Master's House - 2 Railway Parade. Built in 1898 Photo courtesy B Callow, 1995.

This housed 11 of the 14 station masters until the line closed in 1954. It was then sold to the Tomczak family, who lived there from 1956 - 1994. The Shire now owns the property & DHG have use of it.

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11. Smiths Mill/Glen Forrest Railway Station - Railway Pde. Built in 1884, Photo L. Richardson

The Eastern Railway ran from Guildford to Chidlow's Well. This yard had spurlines and loading ramps for loading timber, gravel, bricks, fruit and grapes. The line operated for 70 years until 1954.

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12. Gift Shop - 9 Railway Parade. Photo courtesy B Callow 1995

Built for Mrs Mary McClenaghan in 1949 as a haberdashery shop. Later uses include butcher, antiques, handicraft and now a gift shop.

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13. Pittersen's Store - 3 Railway Parade. Photo courtesy of RIA, early 1900s.

Originally a weatherboard store was built by Ben Pittersen in 1896 and replaced in 1920 by today's brick & iron grocery & produce store. By the 1970s it was a liquor store & more recently a restaurant

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14. Baptist/Methodist/Uniting Church - 56 McGlew Rd. Photo courtesy Campbell Cornish, 1974.

Built and consecrated in 1905 as a Baptist church, it then became a Methodist church in 1925. Finally in 1979 it was amalgamated into the Uniting Church.

15. Forrest Hall/Octagonal Hall - 52 McGlew Rd - Built in 1897. Photo courtesy Campbell Cornish 1974

Built on land donated by W H McGlew, it served the area until 1960, when a new hall was built in Marnie Rd. Then used by the CWA and since the 1980s by the Eastern Hills Wildflower Society.

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16. Glen Forrest Post Office - 50 McGlew Rd - built 1901. Photo courtesy Phylis Seaman 1903

The 1st Postmistress was Edith Lamb, 1901-07. Nancy Morgan and husband Llew operated the PO for 40 years, from 1945 - 1985. In 2001, the facility shifted to a shop in Railway Pde. Now a private house.

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17. St Andrews Church - 38 McGlew Rd - built 1903. Photo courtesy Campbell Cornish 1974

Built on land donated by W H McGlew, it was the first Anglican church in the Hills area. After celebrating its centenary in 2003, the church was deconsecrated in 2006 and sold into private hands.

18. Origin of Braxan Street name.

Braxan street was named after the three sons of the Wheeler family when they moved into the unnamed road in the 1950's. 'Brian', 'Max' and 'Ian' were shortened and combined to create this name.

19. The Recreation Reserve - Marnie Rd to Braxan St. Photo 2020

In 1902 a Government grant was used to purchase land from J H Munday to be used for a Recreation Reserve. This area was developed into the oval and sports ground in 1903.

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20. Glen Forrest Sports Club - cnr Marnie and McGlew - est 1930. Photo courtesy GFSC, 1952.

Station master, M J Morgan was instrumental in starting the bowling club. Constructed by community labour, the greens were open in 1932 for use. 'Burkinshaw Park' is named in honour of its benefactor.

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21. Railway Ganger's House - 21 Railway Pde. - Photo 2006.

Looking across the road to No 21, this house was originally on the railway land where you are standing. It was moved across the road by Ron & Ann Morgan in 1967 and they lived here until 2005.

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Playground Playground
Picnic spot Picnic spot
Drinking water available Drinking water available
Seating available Seating available
Public toilets Public toilets
Pram friendly Pram friendly
Historical interest Historical interest
Nature trail Nature trail
Park / Garden Park / Garden