April 2022










Located at the Old Schoolmaster's House, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Pinjarra. 

Our volunteers are there to greet you on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 3 pm, or by appointment.


The aim of the Historical Society is to research, collect, maintain and share stories of the Murray District that stretches from North Dandalup to Coolup, from West Murray to Dwellingup – and including the vibrant town of Pinjarra.  We have a well maintained local history library, interesting displays and a large collection of photographs, documents, and display books.


We also have a strong membership of enthusiastic people and are always looking for additional members to join us.  If you have a love of history, in particular of the Murray District, or if you have information to share, please visit us.  And if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of our group.  Our general meetings with a guest speaker are open to visitors.  Other events, including bus trips, are usually restricted to members.  All visitors are welcome to browse our collections during our ‘open’ hours or by appointment.



ALCOA - Why Pinjarra?


After making a few mistakes, siting the Alumina Refinery at Kwinana, the time came to build another refinery.


What attracted the Company to the vicinity of Pinjarra:

  • Away from the ocean’s cooling breezes and corrosion from the salt.
  • Close to the supply of Bauxite, eventual rail access to two ports to export the product overseas.
  • The ability to buy productive farm land from people willing to sell and move elsewhere in secrecy, that enabled Alcoa to obtain a sufficient buffer zone from the nearest towns.
  • Changed final crushing process from Rod Mills to Ball Mill, far more efficient.


State Government insisted on a Company Town as was standard in the North West Iron Ore mines and also contribute to costs of Sewerage, Hospital, School, Fire and Police Station in Pinjarra. The concept of living close to the Refinery failed because as soon as they could afford it, the workers moved to Mandurah and its environs.


Officially opened 3/5/1972 and still operating, must be doing something right.


Ref. “White Gold” by Geoffrey Blainey 1997.

Murray Districts Historical Society Display, Schoolmaster’s House Henry St. Pinjarra.

And, personal experience – (article Submitted by Merv Beacham)


Note:    There is so much more to read on Alcoa Pinjarra this can be viewed at the Murray Districts Historical Society. Also come in a see the most recent Alcoa Display.


Visit us to view our current photographic displays:

- Alcoa

- North Dandalup

- Fairbridge and North Pinjarra


Follow our monthly articles in the Community Newspaper for more information about the history of Pinjarra and the heritage buildings of the Murray District.  And we always welcome any stories or photos you are willing to share with us.


And we welcome new members.

For information about the Murray Districts Historical Society, its membership and its activities, please contact

Anne Cubitt – Secretary  mdhspinjarra@outlook.com


For assistance with research or general questions about local history, contact Merv Beacham on 0417 986 838, or Val King on 0458 673 608


For more photos and stories of the rich history of the Murray, look at our Website murrayhistory.org.au/home or visit us at the Old Schoolmaster’s House within the Edenvale Heritage Precinct.


You can also Like us on Facebook here





Murray Districts Historical Society • Old Schoolmaster's House, Henry Street • Edenvale Precinct • Pinjarra Western Australia