Dotted along the Great Eastern Highway are the remains of numerous old water pumping houses that make up the Golden Pipeline, Ghooli Pump Station being among them.
A Brief History
Between 1898 and 1902, construction of the Golden Pipeline from Mundaring Weir to Kalgoorlie was completed. Ghooli (or Ghouli) was Pump No 6 along this route, just 8 miles (12.9km) outside of Southern Cross; by March of 1902 nineteen trucks had arrived bearing much of the equipment. With bricks supplied by the Coolgardie Brickworks, work began in earnest and by the end of 1902 water had reached Ghooli.
The pump house itself is made up of two rooms, one for the boiler and other holding an engine and two Worthington Pumps. There are also the remains of a weighbridge outside.
Not Quite a Town
While no true town was built at Ghooli, there were still enough people living here to support a number of ventures and activities. A school was established, with the children planting trees for Arbor Day, tennis courts and a children’s play area; prior to this, the children of Ghooli would ride the train 7 miles (11km) into Southern Cross to attend the Convent School there.
In 1926 the Government approved for a state farm to be built nearby, one of several experimental wheat farms dotted around the state. WA’s dry weather coupled with a downturn in prices during the depression lead to the farm closing in 1940-41.
The pipeline and the pumps were considered by the Australian Government to be so vital that during WWII they were guarded at all times and the workers themselves deemed too important to join in the effort.
Access to the site is free for everyone. The inside of pumping station is fenced off and cannot be visited due to safety issues.