The first recorded resemblance of a railway in Esperance was a horse drawn tram to the jetty, which commenced on the 18th February and operated by the PWD in conjunction with the jetty. A 24 seat toast-rack car was used for the benefit of the passengers.

 

A VISIT FROM SIR JOHN FORREST

In April, Sir John Forrest visited, urging a vote for Federation. Esperance Municipal Council formally received Premier, John Forrest at the Council Chambers, with a banquet and a plain and fancy dress ball held at the Bijou Hall. Captain Vincent and some of the officers of the S.S. Innamincka attended the function. The Premier, Sir John Forrest, had arrived on the 5th May on Innamincka. On board were his party, as well as their horses and equipment for proceeding overland to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.

The people of Esperance were hopeful a railway line from Coolgardie to Esperance would be built if Sir John Forrest was successful in becoming Premier.

 

Government Announcement

In June, an announcement that a railway line would be constructed only from Coolgardie to Norseman, resulted in the residents being highly being dissatisfied. They had been certain they were going to get the railway line and that Esperance would be the port to the Goldfields. The government declared “There would be no railway for Esperance”.

With the opening of the Perth-Coolgardie railway, the trade no longer passed through Esperance as the principal port to the Goldfields. The population which had peaked in the thousands steadily declined with the rush to the goldfields via Esperance Bay in decline.

The Norseman mine had produced ½ million Sterling of gold.

Mr Henry Bostock manager of Esperance Bay pastoral station and his wife Emma Bostock depart Esperance.

William Dempster assumed management. The shearing season commenced at Dempsters’ homestead station. A shearing shed was built near Lake Wheatfield as it had become difficult to herd flocks of sheep through the town site to the station. There were 14,000 sheep to be shorn and a dozen men employed for about three weeks’.

The Municipal Council Chambers moved to the Government school building on Dempster Street. Esperance Municipal Council and Esperance Roads Board shared the use of the building.

The Town Jetty was formally handed over to the Government Customs Department 22nd April.

The Esperance Times published the ‘’Esperance Directory” on the 23rd July. The municipality was struggling with the depopulation of the town. The mail coach service to Norseman was reduced to one per week.

 

 

 

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