Balingup Community Web

An initiative of the Balingup Progress Association


Heritage Exhibition

Opened in 2012, the Heritage Exhibition tells the story of Balingup between 1855 and 1955. Displays include the history of four significant homesteads, a war exhibition (including a World War 1 uniform) and individual photographs and stories of the people who made Balingup into the great community it is today.

The Exhibition is located in the Packing Shed in the centre of town and is open 7 days a week between 9am – 4pm.

For more information, contact Carol Bullard 0448 894 822. email Carol

History of Balingup

Very little is known about the Aboriginal history of the area, Old Bankother than that the name "Balingup" is an alleged corruption of an Aboriginal name - Balingan, a noted native warrior who is said to have been born here.

At the height of prosperity in 1959, Balingup boasted a population of 1347.

At this time, Balingup was a thriving farming community boasting its own Shire Council, cheese factory and commercial infrastructure. However, the dairy quota system for the period, coupled with the steep terrain, made dairy farming non viable and many farmers sold their land and left the district. When it was found that there were no prospective buyers, the Forestry Department, now Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), began to buy the farms for pine plantations. 

old busThe Cheese Factory was converted into a major Arts and Crafts Centre for the South West and the Packing Sheds were put to alternative uses. The cattle and pig selling complex also closed down.

Many of the old homes and businesses have been restored and are used for other purposes such as:

  • The Tinderbox was previously a General Store

  • The shopping complex was formerly a stock and station store

  • The bakery was formerly a bank

  • The antique shop was formerly tea rooms

.....a timeline history of Balingup

1842 The first white explorers, on an expedition to find a route from Albany to Vasse, came across the Blackwood River at Southampton and Wrights Bridge.
1854 Richard Jones took up 10 acres and built a mudbrick homestead and named it "Southampton". This holding prospered and grew to 28,000 acres at the turn of the century.
1859 Walter Padbury took up a 40,000 acre Pastoral lease, which included "Brooklands" and "Ferndale".
1895 Jacob Hawter established a large fruit tree nursery and first commercial orchard.
1895 St Peters Church of England was opened.
1895 Original Balingup school opened (15 students).
Late 1890s 500-600 men were employed to construct the railway from Donnybrook to Bridgetown.
1902 Hotel built by Charles Brockman.
1904 "Brooklands" homestead built in 1904.
1904 Present Balingup School was opened.
1905 Original Balingup Progress Association was formed.
1908 Balingup Agricultural Society formed.
1909 First Balingup Agricultural Show held.
1920 First meeting of the Balingup Tennis Club. Land donated by J.L. Rose.
1926 Post Offie was built in Brockman Street.
1930 Present Balingup Town Hall was built.
1932 Electricity was supplied by local generator.
1932 The Country Womens Association was formed.
1933 The Cheese Factory opened.
1936 The Picture Hall was built in Forrest Street.
1938 Present CWA room was built in Jayes Street.
1938 St Therese's Church was erected in Balingup, transported from the Greenbushes Convent.
1944 First packing shed of Paterson & Co was built in old Agricultural Hall.
1948 Paterson & Co Packing Company moved to shed on highway.
1953 State Electricity supply connected.
1965 Water supply "turned on" in Balingup.
1970 Shire of Balingup amalgamated with Shire of Donnybrook.
1978 Current Balingup Progress Association formed.
1979 St Therese's new church was built, the original building being destroyed during Cyclone Alby.
1981 Golden Valley Tree Park established.
1982-1995 Balingup and Districts Sports and Recreation Centre constructed.
1988 Home and Community Care services established.
1989 Community Centre built.
1989 Local childrens playground developed on the Village Green.
1990 Community Workspace established.
1991 Inaugural Balingup Small Farm Field Day.
1993 Community involvement in Ferndale Homestead issue.
1993 Townscape Plan developed.
1994 Community involvement in Kerr forest injunction.
1994 LEAP scheme restored Golden Valley homestead.
1995 Balingup entered Tidy Towns competition for the first time.
1995 Community involvement in Glenmore proposal.
1995 Footbridge constructed across the Balingup Brook.
1996 Balingup becomes the first Aussie Host accredited town in WA.
1998 Inaugural Tulip Festival & Medieval Fayre held.