Gwalia is a historic precinct consisting of the remnant buildings erected by the Sons of Gwalia mine and its workers during the late 1890s and early 1900s. It is located on the edge of the original Sons of Gwalia Mine which is once again a fully functioning gold mine creating a unique and relevant context for the historic site. Following a period of abandonment following the closure of the Sons of Gwalia Mine in 1963, the place has been managed by the Shire of Leonora as a place of significance and as a reminder of early life in the Goldfields.
Whilst the mine still operates under the management of St Barbara Mines, the remnant buildings of the earlier mine settlement combine to create the museum which consists of the timber Headframe, the former Mine Manager’s House (Hoover House), the former Mine Office and former Assay Office together with the cottages, Mazza’s Store, Patroni’s Guest House, the Schoolmaster’s House amongst others and the State Hotel.
The Gwalia Historic Precinct provides a rare glimpse into a former way of life illustrating the basic and often harsh conditions that the workers and their families lived in.
A “Gwalia Weekend” was held in November 2018 marking the completion of the conservation works to the buildings that comprise Gwalia. The weekend held a number of events for the community and visitors to celebrate the significance of Gwalia and the works undertaken to ensure that it survives long into the future. It also provided visitors a rare opportunity to look inside the State Hotel which is generally closed to the public.
The conservation works received a collective funding of $3.3 million from the Shire of Leonora, Federal and State Governments, and Lotterywest.