Old Earth and Indigenous History.
Hampton View Homestead is built on land that geologists say is 700 million years old.
Aborigines travelled through this land from between 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. There was a tribe of about 70 Aborigines living in Southern Cross in the 1880’s. In the early days of this farm some Aborigines from Kalgoorlie helped to shear the sheep. They were well respected.
The Sandalwood Cutters
In the 1800’s sandalwood hunters came to this area with their camels. They would find a lot of the sandalwood and water around the rocks. The Hampton View Homestead collection includes some old camel bells from this time. It was the sandalwood cutters who cut the first tracks through the bush. They were a tough breed. The Sandalwood cutters were the first white men in the area to supply the incense trade in China.
Mount Hampton Rock and The 1928 Land Ballot
In 1863 the explorer H. M. Lefroy found Mount Hampton Rock while searching for sheep country. It is part of a number of granite outcrops in the Yilgarn, which include Wave Rock and Bruce’s Rock. The area surrounding the rock was given the name Mount Hampton. Although the area had been well travelled by sandalwood cutters in the 1800’s the first settlers didn’t arrive until 1925/1926. The early travelers created a system of travelling from ‘rock to rock’ as it ensured water and green feed for their horses – there were rough tracks but no roads.
The Western Australian Government opened up land at Mount Hampton with a ballot system in 1928. Josef and Nellie were given 1,350 acres on condition they cleared it. The Government gave them 12 shillings and six pence per cleared acre.($1.25)
The Mount Hampton area, being too far from C.Y. O’Connors’ “Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline” was not supplied with scheme water and relies on rainfall for its drinking water. In the past the Mount Hampton Rock provided the source of water, with two government wells at its base, and in the early days it was also a meeting place for various occasion such as Christmas parties.
Josef and Nellie Goodhill immigrated to Australia from Switzerland and England respectively. They met and married in Meckering.
They took up their allotment at Mount Hampton in October 1928. The Great Depression struck soon after, but they managed to hold onto the small farm that they established.
Nellie named it ‘Hampton View Homestead’, because of the view of the Rock from the house where their simple tin home was built. They did not return to their countries of birth and the Homestead remained their home for the rest of their lives.
Nellie had gave birth to the first white male of the area. They had four sons in all. In those early days there wasn’t any community infrastructure. With no church or priest available, Josef was the areas lay preacher.
Second World War
During the Second World War, with many men from the community away serving their country the women and children had to work hard on the farm chores. Three of the Goodhill sons joined an army service. Clarrie was both a shearer and a farmer. In the post war years, under George’s ownership the farm flourished. They travelled abroad and these travels included a trip to Japan.
Mount Hampton has had three schools. The last Mount Hampton Primary School was built in 1960’s and closed in 1997. But in that time a community hall and tennis courts were also built. The community and tennis club remains strong.
These days wheat, sheep and cattle are the main enterprises of the area. It is a hive of business and community gatherings – you just need to know where to look!
Water is the most precious resource on this farm. Without the infrastructure that has been incorporated we could not just turn on a tap and have a shower. Things we have now come to take for granted. It was not always so. Water in the early days was collected after a rain, from a rock hole, near the first house/humpty. The boys would take down jam tins; collect it into 4 gallon kerosene tins then pour this into a 100 gallon tank on a sled. Water is still collected off all the roofs; there is no scheme water here. Washing was taken down to the well at ‘The Mount’ and everyone would help. It would be hung on long lines there to dry. They would take a picnic lunch and play cricket while waiting for the clothes and sheets etc to dry, a whole days effort.