October 2019




Located at the Old Schoolmaster's House, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Pinjarra. 
Opening hours from 11am to 3pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.




Do You Know That?

The Rev. James Stuart Price arrived in Pinjarra in 1861 from Northern Ireland to be the first rector of St John’s Church.  His 17 year old bride accompanied him and as there was no rectory, they boarded in Pinjarra, first with Mrs Oakley and later with the Cornish family.  The first rectory opened in 1873 and served the purpose for 80 years.


Archdeacon Hale had been consecrated as the first Anglican Bishop of Perth in 1856. In 1860 he wrote to England requesting a clergyman for the district of Pinjarra / Mandurah.  There had never been a resident Chaplain and a new Church was about to be built in Pinjarra.  On October 17, 1861, writing from Serpentine River, Bishop Hale says: ‘I am now on one of my journeys for the purpose of introducing Mr Price to his new district and his people.  I like him very much and most highly approve of his selection. -- Most satisfactory arrangements have been made for Mr and Mrs Price.  Mrs Oakley takes them in and boards them both for £75 or £80; so as his stipend is £150 I consider him a very rich man.  Moreover it is a most enjoyable place, very pretty, on the banks of the Murray, a very fine river, with more fruit than can possible be eaten.  In fact there is no place in the colony that I like better to stay at’.


James Price passed away in 1878 aged 47 years leaving his wife Annie and 6 surviving children.  Three of the Price children had died in infancy.  Mrs Price died at Fremantle in May, 1935, aged 91 years.  She was buried in the Churchyard of St John’s near her husband.

During his 17 years as rector of St. John’s, James Price proved his talent as an artist.  His many paintings show his interest in West Australian wildflowers and in local personalities. To view samples of Rev James Price’s art work, visit us at the Old Schoolmaster’s House. 


Other current photographic displays include:

  • the former timber towns of the Dwellingup / Dandalup regions: Holyoake, Banksiadale, Marrinup and Whittaker’s Mill. 
  • the history and evolution of the Exchange Hotel
  • the history and restoration of the St John’s Church
  • the history and re-use of the Pinjarra Courthouse


Many other photos and documents of the rich history of the Murray District are available to visitors.


 AGM - Wednesday, 28th August – was held at Murray Library, Pinjarra.

Guest Speaker, Richard Offen (Historian, Author and Broadcaster)


The 11th Annual General Meeting of the Society was well attended by 39 members and visitors

This is the commencement of a new financial year, with a re-vitalised committee and interesting activities for all.  Guest speaker, Richard Offen, spoke on the subject: ‘Don’t Let Them Do It Again! - A Look at the Changing Attitudes to the Demolition of Historic Buildings.’

The evening was well-attended and all enjoyed the entertaining presentation by Richard Offen.


Wednesday, 23rd October –  the next General Meeting will be held at the Murray Library, Pinjarra.       Guest Speaker, Shannon Lovelady: “West Australian Casualties in WW1”.

Supper will follow the meeting. Attendance at the meeting costs $2 for members and $5 for visitors. 


Copies of the Murray Districts Historical Society Calendar of Events for the remainder of 2019 are available at the Old Schoolmaster’s House and in the Pinjarrah Room, Edenvale Homestead.

In the meantime, look at our Website murrayhistory.org.au/home for more information.


You can also Like us on Facebook here


Do you have an interest in the history of Pinjarra and the Murray Districts?

We are always looking for more volunteers to assist with the opening hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm and with our various projects.


If you would like to become one of our volunteers, please advise

Jill on 0408 846 567 or by email alanjill37@hotmail.com


For information about the Murray Districts Historical Society, its membership and its activities, please visit us at Edenvale during opening hours or contact Dawn Hodgkinson, Secretary by email led.zep@live.com.au

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