The name refers to the evocative ruin on the hill to the left of the Great Southern Highway just before the Chuggamunning Road turnoff, but there are a range of names relating to the property. The earliest lithograph I could find shows a Jugominning Spring, and Ossie Pustkuchen refers to Shuggamony Spring, and the infamous hill that tested locomotives is Chuggamunning Hill.
Elijah Quartermaine junior sailed out from England with his family in 1838, and received title to a plot of land containing Chuggamunning spring. His house (Chuggamunny) was built on the hill about 200 metres upslope from the spring, and the family shepherded sheep on surrounding land. In 1866, two escaped convicts surprised them one night and stole a double barrelled gun, a revolver, ammunition and rations, and left them unharmed.
In 1868, the house and property was sold to William Farrah Lukin, a remarkable district pioneer. William had extensive sheep leases with JH Monger and William Shaddick around Narrogin out to Toolibin. A restless and ambitious man, he took up a pastoral lease east of Derby that ended disastrously when a flood killed all 14,000 of his sheep. He then went to the Klondyke Goldfields in the Yukon in hope of regaining his fortune and disappeared from history (possibly killed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake).
A neighbour James Doust leased the property and moved into the house in the 1880’s.
James and wife Elizabeth built a mud-batt building to the north of their house that Elizabeth ran as a boarding house for railway workers, farm hands and teachers from the Cuballing School. Only a few foundation walls remain, which indicate that the 5 bedrooms were tiny. The house looks much larger in the historic images supplied by the Narrogin Library, so I suspect that other rooms had a dirt floor.
There are rumours of much rum drinking and wild gambling at the boarding house. Elizabeth was a kindly soul and also the local midwife. I wonder how the Doust household coped with rowdy dissolute behaviour less than 20 metres away from their house.
There are even rumours of a ghost but hooooo knows
The Google Photo album of old and new images shows the stone house’s deterioration. The ancient York gum by the house has a huge split in its trunk with one half threatening to complete the destruction.
See the images on https://photos.app.goo.gl/UqDi87SutkeDFuHa6
'The Way Through: The Story of Narrogin' O.E Pustkuchen
'Numbat Country: The Story of the shire of Cuballing from Earliest Times until 1997' E. Roots