Chapman Valley History

100 Year Celebrations Time Line

The Yuna area lies upon the Victoria plateau. It was originally part of Bowes Station and was known as Younah Springs in earlier years.
1839 Chapman River discovered by Sir George Grey


1908 – First Yuna land subdivision given to government – 20 chains to an inch.
1909 – Peppercorn lease released in the area, 1000 acre lots – upon meeting the agreement, settlers obtained ownership in the 1920’s


1910 – Road construction team cut the road to Yuna.
First wheat crop sown in Yuna was by the Tayler brothers, on their property “Woodstock”. 97 hectares on 1547 points of rain, averaging 12 bushells/ha
The Yuna Farmer’s Association requested the survey of town lots at Yuna. Request for extension of Upper Chapman railway was put forward. A town site was deferred until the railway route had been determined.
Plow and Harrow Inn at Rockwell was built by Mr & Mrs George Vian.
First mail delivered to Yuna-road mail contract signed November 5 – horse drawn cart delivered to central depot (farmers house)

1911-1912 – Whelarra Dam was created for railway workers.
1912 – Upper Chapman District Railway opened at Whelarra on May 3. Titled the ‘Naraling-Yuna’ siding. In September 1912 it was renamed ‘Yuna’. The steam train from Geraldton took up to eight hours to arrive and only four hours for the return trip. This made it one of the most efficient railway lines in WA.

1913 – First Anglican service by Rector H.E.King at Tayler’s property ‘Woodstock’ on their front verandah.

1914 – The first school in the area was located at Rockwell and known as Yuna Well School. A new structure was built by the State Government near Rockwell Hall in 1918. It was renamed Rockwell in 1924 and closed in 1928.

1917 – Earliest known motor vehicle owned in Yuna area – T model Ford, Melville Forrester.
Stock races added to the Yuna railway building. 


1912 – Rockwell railway siding opened June.
1922-25 Motorized tractors started to take over from horse power.
1922 – A small amount of clay handled in open railway trucks for a short time from Yuna.
1923 – First Catholic Mass held by Monsignor Hawes at the McGauran home, East Yuna.
1924 – Barracks for train crew opened on September 9, replacing lodge out vans.
Stockyards added to the Rockwell railway siding.
Yuna State School was opened from 1924-1925, in a hall in the ‘old town site’ on Forrester Brooks Road. From 1926-1929 the school was not staffed, reopening in 1930. In 1940 it closed during the war, relocating in 1948 to the official Yuna town site.

1926 – East Yuna School built on Yuna Tenindewa Road (20kms from Yuna) and opened on April 27, 1927. The school was closed in 1936.
First General Store built by J & R Ascione and opened in 1927.
1927 – Yuna District Cricket Club formed and joined the Upper Chapman Northampton Association.
First cricket pitch laid on Tayler’s property ‘Woodstock’. 
Yuna branch single loop siding extended.

1928 – South Yuna School was erected on a junction at Morcom & Whelarra road’s. In 1933, controversy erupted when students went on strike against punishment. The school was relocated to Marrah Road in 1935 and then closed after the war. Approximately 28 children attended.
First Yuna Football team.
First weighbridge installed.

1929 – Yuna was officially gazetted a townsite at the start of the Chapman River catchment; An unofficial townsite had been created on the west side of Forrester Brooks road and consisted of a school, hall, cricket pitch and tennis courts. This was the Tayler family property ‘Woodstock’. It continued to be the social meeting place.
1920’s An unofficial radio station created by Melville Forrester. Wirelesses were also made by him so locals could tune in.
First golf course. 9 holes – located west of CBH location.


1930’s – Yuna townsite grows – Starlings shop built (to become Yuna Co-op in later years), Wally Bawden Garage and Lou Kent’s garage (now CWA). Starlings ran the mail run for a time.
1920 – The ‘old tin hall’ was built at ‘Woodstock’.
Local Roads Board organised the use of a town supply dam and a 10,000 gallon (45,460 litre) tank equipped with pump house and plant were erected near the railway triangle.

1931 – 130,000 bags of wheat stacked at the Yuna siding – 21 bags high. It took many years for this to be surpassed. Each bag weighed 180lbs (approx 80kgs).
Last Afghan Camel Teams to come through Yuna – used this route when the inland road flooded.
Silent movies became ‘talkies’ in the old tin hall ‘West Touring Talkies’ by Tom Nulsen. Ran until 1940.
East Yuna telephone office closed on June 20.
The Debt Adjustment Act passed for farmers to stay on their land.

1932 – Yuna Country Women’s Association (CWA) started with 11 members on September 19 – Ethel Brede (President), Kathleen Binks (Secretary), Ida Donald (Treasurer).
1933 – 33 miles of rail stacked at Yuna for Dartmoor line, never used.
1933-38 – Yuna Soccer Club formed to play Geraldton teams.

1934 – Combined Yuna & South Yuna Christmas Tree was held.
Sunday train from Geraldton visits Yuna for wildflowers.
1935 – Yuna Golf Club established.
Yuna Hall Social & Recreation Committee Inc. was formed.
1936 – Drought.
Yuna CWA bought local garage for meeting place and became the Yuna CWA Hall.
1936-37 – CBH wheat bin built in Yuna with 3,700 tonne capacity – 1087.51 tonne received. Demolished in 1992.
1937-38 – Three dirt tennis courts laid at ‘Woodstock’, Forrester Brooks Road.
1938 – Diesel-electric rail car train: Governor Class was introduced on the Yuna branch and ran every Friday.
Forrester Band played in the local area’s.
1939The Depression – Pickets raised at the Yuna siding due to low wheat prices given there. This lasted from November 20 to December 4.
Due to fuel rations, horses were reintroduced as part of the farming practice.


1940 – The Yuna Hotel opened its doors on the August 29. Mr Tom & Sylvia Nulsen transferred the license from the Plow & Harrow Inn, Rockwell.
Yuna Wanderers Football Team – joined the Northampton – Upper Chapman Football Association. Concluded in 1963.
1942 – Woman and children come to family farms in Yuna – Japanese invasion.
Earth tremor felt.
1946 – Yuna forms a Volunteer Defence Corp (VDC) during WWII.
Yuna Branch of Farmer’s Union of WA formed on November 3.
1947 – Yuna Sunday School commences in Mr H & I McNaught’s home.
Stock and saleyards built to the east of the Yuna Hotel – by Tommy Simpson & Joe Gould.
Yuna CBH became a site for bulk receivals.
1948 – Yuna Hall in townsite, constructed with an old RAAF air force hut transported to Yuna.
Yuna School transferred from Forrester Brooks Road and commenced in Yuna Hall.
Wandana Yuna Bus Service commenced on May 9 – “Miss Una” was run from Batten’s farm. Bernie Blackmore was the longest standing bus driver.
Three new tennis courts laid in the Yuna townsite – colas wood, on the northern side of the Primary School.


1950 – Yuna Primary School built on present site.
Yuna Co-op opened in April. Bert Wilton sold his shop to the Yuna Farmer’s Co-op Co Ltd.
1953 – CBH built permanent roofed bulkhead. 2,800 tonne capacity. Demolished in 1995.
1954 – Bitumen road from Geraldton to Yuna completed.
Yuna Golf Clubhouse was built in September.
1955- Diesel electric locomotive used on the Yuna branch.
1957 – Yuna railway line suspended on April 29. Rails removed after Parliamentary Act of Closure in December 1961.


1960 – Large water tankstand constructed to service Yuna townsite near the hall.
March 27, Cyclone destroyed Yuna Hall.
1961 – Dartmoor to Yuna School Bus Service, driven by Mr Ken Criddle, operated until December 1972.
Former East Yuna subscribers attached to automatic Yuna exchange on May 4.
New Yuna Hall opened by Sir David Brand (WA Premier) on October 21. The hall cost 14,000 pounds to build, raised entirely by the community.
1962 – Yuna Badmington Club started.
New school building opened on December 5-two brick classrooms replaced the original school.
1963 – 73 children on the Yuna Primary School roll.
Yuna Football team finished.
1965 – Wiltmore Field Day commenced-Cliff & Gwyn Ross. The event turned into the annual Mallee Station Race Day in 1967. An estimated 800 people attended the last event in 1973. 
1967 – Our Lady Queen of Peace Church opened – blessed by Bishop Thomas (Geraldton).
Land purchased for Country Automatic Exchange-Vlahov’s.
1967-68 – School Bus Service – Yuna to Geraldton commenced. Mr Bagshell added Yuna to Naraling run.
1968 – CBH built D type wheat bin with 14,600 tonne capacity.


1971 – State Electricity Commission offered a contribution scheme to connect the power. This was the East Yuna – Wandana Contribution Scheme and it was completed in two stages. Battens were the last to be connected in March 1972.
1973 – Yuna Kindergarten started in the tennis pavilion March 20.
North Yuna manual exchange ceased and the automatic exchange took over, then connected to the Balla exchange.
1974 – Opening of the Tennis Club lights on December 17.
Mallee Field Day started in Yuna and Yuna racetrack cleared. The Yuna Machinery Field Days took over from the sports day on 19 March 1977.
1977 – Yuna Cricket Club disbanded- 3 premierships 1965/66, 1966/67, 1969/70.
1978 – Yuna Hotel granted a tavern licence and changed their name to the Yuna Tavern.
Yuna Co-op closed.
Yuna Swimming Pool opened by Mr Reg Tubby on December 8.
Rockwell to Yuna water pipline commissioned. Chapman Valley farmers employed by the Water Corp for drought assistance.
Yuna Golf Club House officially opened by Mr W Exten. The front wall of this new building was rebuilt in 1979 after Cyclone Hazel.
1979 – Cyclone Hazel overnight on March 14.
Yuna tennis pavilion constructed by locals. Still the current site for Yuna Tennis Club.
Plans in place for Yuna Hall leased to Shire.
Way ’79 Centenary – A tree was planted for every family in Yuna, from the Hall to the Tennis Club. Each family planted their own tree.


1981 – CBH built the G type wheat bin with 21,800 tonne capacity.
1982 – Yuna Machinery Field Day finishes.
Yuna Kindergarten integrated into Yuna Primary School to become Pre-Primary.
1984 – Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline opened. Pipeline runs through Dartmoor and East Yuna farmlands.
Yuna Telephone Exchange closed when made automatic. Mrs V. McCracken operated the office for 16 years.
1985 – Extensions to the Yuna Tavern completed including the addition of store and post office.
1986 – Farmers Fighting Fund.
1988 – Australian Centennary-40 years since school – reunion held.


1991 – Terry Williamson delivered the one millionth tone of grain to Yuna CBH bin on Novemeber 2- plaque at the shire.
1995 – Golf Club extensions officially opened by Mrs Elsie Wilton on October 21.
1996 – Yuna Pasture Improvement Group ended.
Yuna Branch of the WAFF ended.
1998 – Yuna Pasture Improvement Group, Yuna WAFF & Yuna Field Committee amalgamated to become YFIG.
Yuna Farm Improvement Group (YFIG) formed.
Yuna CBH Receival Point offical opening on September 21. Q type CBH storage bin built east side of town with 60,000 tonne capacity. 
Toledo/Ultra weighbridge installed and sampling platform modified.
1999 – Creating a Better Yuna formed (CABY)


2000 – Inaugural Whelarra Regatta on September 23. 
2003 – Local farmers contributed to the sealing of Balla Whelarra Road. Whelarra Dam ‘bone dry’ due to road works.
YFIG named State & National ‘GRDC Grower Group of the Year’.
2005 – Resealing of tennis court at Yuna Tennis Club.
2006 – Yuna Farmlands Pipeline Water Supply opened on December 12. Steering group formed in July 2002.
Whelarra Dam overflowing-January summer storms.
2007 – Yuna Primary School Resource Centre opened on September 27.
CABY won State Community of the Year at the Regional Achievement Awards.
2008 – Yuna grassed area opened.
Yuna CBH highest receival recorded – 208,632.12 tonne.
2009 – Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline upgrade.
Yuna Community Park playground opening.
2010 – Celebrating 100 Years of Yuna.