If you enjoy reading about the less well-known aspects of Western Australia’s social history, here are three great sites that I recommend. They are all carefully researched, well written and full of fascinating details.
I’ve mentioned this site before. Jessica Barratt takes unusual and quirky newspaper articles from the past, then digs out the details using Trove, the State Records Office and other sources. The stories she tells offer intriguing glimpses into West Australia’s social history and people of the past. Disappearances, tragedies, ghost stories, eccentric characters, and long-forgotten social events all find a place. Jessica aims to “sweep away the cobwebs and blow away the dust so that the stories and history of the past can once again be shared with the world”.
The focus of Moya Sharp’s website is the eastern goldfields, with its rich and diverse history. The site, which has been going since 2009, provides a wealth of information, on topics such as hospitals and hotels, miners and marriages, schools and cemeteries. It has extensive, searchable indexes of places and people. (The list of place names includes nearly 150 locations – it’s not just about Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie and Boulder.) It also offers a list of links to sites that are useful to anyone researching their own family history. Once a week Moya publishes her newsletter and blog, with three or four stories that are always worth reading.
This apparently anonymous site hasn’t been updated for a while. But if you’re looking for stories about some of the more offbeat aspects of Perth’s history, try browsing here. “We aim to bring you the unusual, the weird, the disreputable, and the outright scandalous” says the author. Probably not suitable for the tee-totaller.
These certainly aren’t the only sites that offer stories about Western Australian social history. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to recommend another site or blog.