August 2023










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.



AGM - 29th August 2023 (Tuesday)

Annual General Meeting – Murray Districts Historical Society

7pm – 9pm @ The Lesser Hall – between the Council Offices and Library, Pinjarra Road, Pinjarra.

Guest Speaker: for further information - please see our Facebook page and our webpage

- Attendance at the meeting costs $2 for members and $5 for visitors. 

- Supper will follow the meeting. 

- This is also an opportunity to become a member or renew your annual membership - $25 per       person, $40 per couple and $50 corporate membership.


- If you would like to join us please contact Anne Cubitt on:

  Mob 0422 516 283 or email


Recent Event  - Held on Sunday, 9 July 2023

Convict Group Visit to Former St. John’s Church, Pinjarra

(Article submitted by Mervyn Beacham)

This event occurred after quite a bit of preparatory work of learning how to cover the windows in the former church without leaving any signs of damage, so that we were able to use the projector for the lectures. We had about fifty visitors turn up from the Convict Special Interest Group and members of the Murray Districts Historical Society and a few other interested people to hear lectures about how the Convicts and Ticket of Leave men contributed their labour for the betterment of the District.


I had the honour of the opening few words, Ronald Richards spoke on the previous shortage of information about the Convicts contribution, as the data was still secured in the Prison System.  Also Descendants had been very sensitive about their Convict Ancestors up until relatively recently.  Now they are a status symbol, in the Eastern States even referred to as “Australian Royalty”!


The Convict Group are in the process of making a database of the Convicts who were assigned to the Murray District between 1850 – 1868 as well as ”Ticket of Leave Men” after that date until earning their final release. A copy is promised to Murray Districts Historical Society for our records and further research. I found out that my Great Grandfather James Joseph Beacham had the use of a Convict for a week in the 1870’s to perform work at his property at JimJam, this information unfortunately wasn’t specified.

Bevan Carter spoke on William Caverley Bateman and Irma Walter spoke on John Witchell (aka Mitchell), who spent his last 20 years tending Captain Fawcett’s vines in Pinjarra.


Following these interesting talks, we lunched at Edenvale.


Then one part of the group had a wander around St. John’s Graveyard, Cantwell Park, Massacre Murals,  Exchange Hotel, Dr. Beddingfeld’s Cottage, Former Post Office and back to Edenvale with Merv Beacham pointing out items of interest.  Another part of the group visited the Old Schoolmaster’s House photographic displays and the remainder went to their other commitments.


A most enjoyable day sharing information and building friendships with people with a similar interest.


Murray Districts Historical Society continues to hold interesting events throughout the year, so watch this space for the next event!

Note:    There is more to read on our Local History

so do come along to the Murray Districts Historical Society and see what is available.


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.


Visit us to view our current photographic displays:

  • Festivals and Events in Murray Districts
  • Coolup Farms and Families
  • Coolup Sports and Social
  • Alcoa
  • North Dandalup



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


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 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