Roads Board Office

Standing left to right: W. Palmer, W.H. Taffe, C.W. Fauntleroy, H. Tuckey, W.J. Gree, W.T. Pring (South Western Advertiser)

Sitting left to right: A.C. Warr (Secretary), C.H. Dunlop (Chairman), J. McKay, W.E.C McLarty, Dr C. Joyce

Formation of the Murray Roads Board

The Murray Roads Board was set up in 1871 after the WA Legislative Council passed Acts allowing for the formation of local authorities. The purpose of the Roads Board was to make recommendations to the Legislative Council about road and infrastructure expenditure. Members of the Roads Board were comprised of elected local landowners.

At the first election for the Murray Roads Board held 20th February 1871 Messrs J. Logue (Chairman), A. Birch, T. Fawcett, H. Hall, H. Sutton, J. Wellard and J. Batt were elected.

A Place to Meet

In its early years, the Board met at members’ homes. In the late 1880s, the Roads Board found a more central place to meet at the Mechanics’ Institute Hall. Though more exclusive quarters were soon needed with the employment of staff and use conflicts. The Mechanics’ Hall was a private club which provided a number of community based services such as a lending library, film screenings, theatre performance and wedding receptions.

The Roads Board Office was constructed in 1909 for £217 18s and is one of the early Roads Board Offices built in the State. The building was the offices of the Murray Roads Board from 1909-1935. By the mid-1930s, the Murray Roads Board has outgrown the building. The Board proposed the construction of new offices but this was fiercely opposed by local residents who didn’t want their rates spent on the project. Instead, the Murray Roads Board shifted quarters to the Old School House on Henry Street, opposite Edenvale Homestead.

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Court House