September 2018




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




On Wednesday 22nd August the 10th AGM of the Murray Districts Historical Society was held at the Murray Library.  The Guest Speaker was John Viska who gave an excellent pictorial presentation about ‘Colonial Kitchen Gardens’ in early colonial Perth.  John discussed the importance of kitchen gardens in the homes of the early 19th Century settlers, the seeds they imported, the plants they grew and their cultivation techniques.  John Viska is the Chairman of the West Australian branch of the Australian Garden History Society and the author of A Guide to Conserving and Interpreting Gardens in Western Australia.


When the first Swan River colony settlers arrived in 1829, they believed that the river had a fertile flood plain. They quickly discovered the area's notoriously sandy soil but there were some patches of fertile ground on the bank of the river and at South Perth, and they began to use these areas for fruit gardens. As early as 1842, the strip of land between the river and Mt Eliza, where Mounts Bay Road now runs, was being used as vegetable and fruit gardens.  Colonists with private property in central Perth persevered with vegetables and fruit trees – and even managed to produce wine from some successful grape vines.  John’s talk was a reminder of the isolation that faced the first settlers and their determination to be self sufficient.


In her President’s Report to those attending the AGM, Penny Hoffman spoke about the strength and achievements of the Historical Society during the past year.  She emphasised the importance of networking with State bodies such as the Royal WA Historical Society and the Peel Chapter of Museums Australia.  Six local members will be attending the Historical Societies State Conference in Cervantes in September. 


The Murray Districts Historical Society has maintained a strong membership and committee and has enjoyed a number of excellent speakers during 2017 / 2018. The Society has also worked closely with the Shire of Murray and the Friends of Edenvale through the Edenvale Working Group and this year was instrumental in creating the Pinjarrah Room within the Edenvale Homestead: a room displaying stories and objects demonstrating the social history of Pinjarra between 1900 and 1960.  If you haven’t visited Edenvale Homestead since the display was launched in May, it is certainly worth a visit.  The Historical Society also supports the Shire in its efforts to restore and maintain the St John’s Church. Thanks were extended to those who have contributed to the Society’s successful year, especially the committee and the volunteers who ensure the House is kept open and the extensive collection maintained for the benefit of the community.  The President also extended thanks to others who provided support: to the staff of Pinjarra Library; to our bus driver Jerome; and to the Shire of Murray, MZI Resources and Bendigo Bank for their sponsorships.


Penny concluded with the following: We are a happy group of volunteers who are known for our excellent catering and increasingly recognised for our contribution to Pinjarra’s heritage and for the knowledge we are willing to collect, maintain and share.  Thank you all for your membership and your contribution to our work – and please, if you do not already contribute as a volunteer and you have a few hours to spare we will welcome you with open arms.



for All interested persons and All Members

A most interesting programme of coming events includes:



 Wednesday 24thOctober - 7pm—9pm

@ Murray Library

General Meeting Guest Speaker:  Pamela Statham Drew

‘WA Convicts: their lives and influence on the Colony’


If you are interested in the history of Western Australia and would like to come along and listen to this presentation, please contact Dawn on mobile 0438 979 200 or email

  • Supper will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.
  • Cost:   Members, $2             Non-members, $5 


In the meantime, look at our Website 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


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

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