‘Minabbie’ was the name of the farm occupied by William Lefevre Graham and his descendants. William was a noted local farmer whose farming fortunes waxed and waned. His original block adjacent to Geeralying reserve contained the Geeralying School. According to his grandson Stuart, the Narrogin-Collie railway line was built through the orchard next to the house prompting William to rebuild further south.
The image below shows William’s permanent Noongar farm worker Ben and his diminutive wife (about 4 ft 6 inches tall) at the first Minabbie with William and Stanyford Cowcher in the background. At this time and earlier, Noongar workers were highly valued by settlers.
This edition shows two ruined Graham houses on the Narrogin property.
A standing clapboard and iron house built in 1927 was closer to the road, before being shifted to its present location and refurbished for Noongar shearers before becoming vacant. The first shearers were Ugles, then Eric Krakouer.
The interior is a living history of graffiti that I hope is preserved. No doubt some locals would recognise their work.
In 1945 Leo Graham had a house transported from Bullfinch and reassembled on its present site. Bullfinch is a deserted spot North West of Southern Cross that was once a thriving town associated with a gold mine. When the mine closed, Bullfinch houses were relocated to many areas in the agricultural area.
I also found the cow shed. Apparently, Leo was putting the cow in the shed when he was nearly struck by lightning. He eventually found his way back home dazed and glowing, and took several days to recover.
The Google Photo album shows the remains of both houses.
See the images on