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Kookynie

Kookynie is situated 70km north east of Menzies by road and is part of the Shire of Menzies. Nowadays the town, commonly referred to as a ghost town, caters for many tourists, prospectors, fossickers, mining and exploration companies, pastoralists and a local population of thirteen.
The Hotel offers an excellent collection of historic photographs, antique bottles and memorabilia from Kookynie’s past. The Old Miner's Cottage is the last timber and iron building remaining in Kookynie from the turn of the 1900's and along with the Grand Hotel, old shops and the Cosmopolitan hotel ruins are the only remaining structures left offering a glimpse of its past.

Kookynie was first discovered by prospectors in 1895, one of whom was W.A. Miller who took up the Englishman lease on 25th June 1895. Miller sold the lease to the Cosmopolitan Proprietary Ltd in 1897. This resulted in the virtual existence of Kookynie. The population grew at an astounding rate. During Kookynie’s heyday, around 1907, the town could boast:

  • The first public swimming bath on the Goldfields;
  • A population of 3500 residents with just as many transients;
  • Eleven hotels, seven of which were licensed;
  • A workman’s club (instigated by the poor quality of earlier brews).
  • Many business houses sprang up such as: Newsagents, Chemists, Cycle Works, two Blacksmiths, Butchers, Bakers, two Banks, Jewellers and Watchmakers, several Clothing Stores and Drapers, Photographers, Tobacconists, Confectioners, Greengrocers, five General Stores and even the red light areas run by Japanese Ladies boomed.
  • There were also the State School, Hospital, Police Station, Wardens Office, Post and Telegraph Office, Money Order Office and an electric light installation, which kept the town’s seven arc lamps operating.
  • Churches of all denominations and no less than seven brass bands kept the population entertained.
  • The Kookynie Turf Club held three meetings annually.
  • The recreation area was used by footballers, cricketers and bicycle racers.
  • The Town Hall housed the regular Saturday Night dances as well as plays and official ceremonies.
  • The Kookynie Cemetery is the final resting place for 149 of its past residents.
  • Of course Kookynie had its own brewery and two cordial and soft drink manufactures to supply the many thirsty people.
  • Four trains a day came to Kookynie from Kalgoorlie, each half an hour apart. The railhead was quite impressive as before the line was constructed through to Malcolm, Mertondale, Gwalia, Leonora, Murrin Murrin, Mt Morgans, Mt Margaret and Laverton, it was the end of the line and all turnarounds and marshalling had to be accomplished.
  • The Cosmopolitan Propriety Ltd mined a total of around 630,000 tons of ore that averaged 15 grams per ton between 1897 and 1911. The first stamp mill that came from Edjudina, a thirty head stamp was replaced with a fifty head unit that was shipped in from England in 1899 and installed in 1900. The Englishman mine commonly referred to as the Cosmopolitan or Coz, was dewatered at the rate of 250,000 gallons per day. Its final depth was 1,760 ft on the decline.

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