Kalgoorlie-Boulder History

Kalgoorlie Boulder’s heady days of glory began in 1893 when three down–on–their–luck Irishmen, Patrick Hannan, Tom Flanagan and Daniel Shea stumbled across 100 ounces of alluvial nuggets when they were forced to stop to replace a shoe for their horse. Hannan rode through to Coolgardie and registered the claim on 17 June 1893, and so it was through the ensuing Goldrush that Kalgoorlie was born.

The Kalgoorlie Goldrush that followed was staggering in size – men came in their thousands from all over the world to live in shacks made of hessian, canvas and corrugated iron in their search for golden riches. But the human cost was high as many came ill prepared for the harsh conditions, the inadequate food, scarcity of water, lack of sanitation and meagre medical supplies. Thousands died from thirst, starvation and disease from drinking contaminated water. It was a time when water was more precious than gold. Never the less, stories of fame and fortune continued to spread. Within a few short years 93 hotels and 8 breweries had been established and the population of the twin towns – Kalgoorlie and Boulder, swelled to over 30,000. The diggers that poured into the Goldfields from all over the world had secured the fortunes and future development of Western Australia.

Through necessity one of the major developments, came in 1903 from an innovative engineer called Charles Yelverton O’Connor. O’Connor was responsible for the design and construction of a pipeline which would supply fresh, clean water from Mundaring just outside of Perth, all the way through to Kalgoorlie.
The pipeline is still in use today and continues to be the lifeline of the region. From the early prospectors hessian tents to the modern brick and tile houses of today, the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder continues to brim over with excitement and vitality, and is still considered a city of wealth and opportunity. Kalgoorlie Boulder, a history rich and raw…. Want more information? Then follow these links for further information on Paddy Hannan  and CY O’Connor