Keeping Cool in Coolgardie

As we continue our travels east towards Kalgoorlie we passed through Coolgardie, the town that grew from gold.

It may have once been a booming gold mine town but today it is a sad scrap of history with neglected closed up buildings. The only life is generated by trucks hurtling down the wide main street and challenging pedestrians to do a 100 yard dash to the other side before they end up as mascots on a mining truck.

If you think my comments are scathing what about this newspaper report in 1898 about the state of the original post office.

For nearly 18 months that extraordinary jumble of indifferent stone and porous clay … facetiously termed the post office buildings – has been crawling over this section of the Main Street … externally and internally ugly, atrociously so, and reminds us of a very bad cross between a second rate stable and an ancient Western Australian gaol. It does not possess one solitary redeeming feature and if it went off to Woolgangie someday through the exertions of a Willy-Willy, or suddenly disappeared into the earth, there would be a tumultuous rejoicing.

What a way with words! Anyhoo ..

With the discovery of gold came hordes of hopeful prospectors who found it was almost impossible to keep food fresh in the hot, dry west … and so was born the Coolgardie Safe. This remarkable invention was the forerunner of refrigeration.

Coolgardie Safe in Cunderdin WA
Up market version of a Coolgardie Safe.
Photo courtesy of Museums Victoria

So there you have it! I’m far more impressed with the Coolgardie Safe than I am with the modern day township of Coolgardie 🚐😊

PS Growing up in country Victoria I remember these safes hanging outside the house. That was before we got an Ice Chest, which was before we got a Kerosene refrigerator, which was before we got an electric fridge! Now that makes me feel very old! 😱

One thought on “Keeping Cool in Coolgardie

  1. We had an ice chest! I remember as a child, my brother (7 years older than me) schlepping the heavy ice blocks from the street to our apartment. Twice a week, came a man with his cart carried by his horse to sell us the ice blocks. Wow, how the years flew away!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s