When I came to Narrogin in 1986, I noticed an interesting abandoned cottage on the Williams-Kulin Road on the curve opposite the road to Macco Feeds with one sheet of the galvanised iron roof missing. I wish I had visited it then, as most of the roof has now gone and weather has attacked the whole structure.
The building is the old Anglican parsonage, and the only building in the abandoned Bannister (Williams) township, that was surveyed in 1846. At this time surveyor Gregory was surveying grazing leases at the Williams River, and for Hamersley, Phillips and others nearby. Another townsite called Williamsburgh on the Williams River near Boraning Bridge had been established in 1836 with a military base (10 soldiers?) to protect new settlers.
Why have two closely placed townships? Historical information is mixed but my guess is that it relates to other existing settlements at the time. Kojonup was well established to the south, and Beverley/York to the North. Williamsburgh is on a direct extension of the York-Beverley Road. Bannister is situated to the east below a defensible high point (Kondinning Katta: an outcrop of the Binneringie Dyke that passes through Foxes Lair) at a strategic track crossing. From here one track follows 14 Mile Brook north-west to Mourambine, and another along the Williams River to Kunderning pool and on to Wolwolling Pool. The first occupant of the parsonage was Reverend John Withers. Constable Edward John Barron was apparently stationed at Bannister for 7 years, before resigning to become the first owner of “Minnigin”, and substantial land owner.
At this time the existing Williams town site did not exist. That occurred after 1855 when the Albany Highway was constructed by convicts supervised by Lieutenant Crossman.
Down from the parsonage closer to the road, is a plaque that states that it was used by the Reverend Gillett from Mourambine. I think that this is unlikely as the Reverend was the first minister for the Mourambine Church in 1889.
The plaque also mentions two graves that are now obscured at the parking area downslope at the well on the river.
Another sad story associated with the graves. Settler Henry Grainger and his wife had three children on a nearby property. The youngest girl died when her clothes caught fire, and her mother became seriously ill and died two years later. Consider the plight of women in those days. Voluminous petticoats were a real fire risk; cripes they must have been hot stuck in hot little shacks cooking meals and wearing layers of tight fitting clothes. The pong must have been eye watering (men too).
The old town site was acquired by the Cowcher family and the parsonage became a farm house for many years.
It was modified and extended, but the original mud-cemented granite stone walls are showing where erosion has stripped away overlying wallpaper and lime render. It is on private land and not available for viewing without permission.
Images contain two lithographs showing the town site. The earliest (about 1870) shows that adjoining land was in large blocks, mainly grazing leases. By the time of the second (1894) lithograph, locations had been surveyed for Anglican and Catholic churches, but none were built. Note that most large grazing leases had been replaced by numerous small freehold farm and homestead blocks that followed better soils along the rivers.
For a visual exploration of the cottage on Google Photos click https://photos.app.goo.gl/D3vg1KLkM9V6Ta8v1