Local Identities

ANDERSON. George Arthur (Archie)

Born: 26th September 1915
Died: 31st August 1994

Information:   all provided by the Anderson Family
Research:  by Volunteer Researcher of the Pickering Brook Heritage Group Inc.

John Joseph BROWN
     Born: 18 October 1866 (photograph #2 – see gallery at end)
     Died: 26 February 1935 (kicked by a horse – a tragic accident)
Emily Clara DART (known as Clara)
     Born: 15 February 1875 (photograph #3 – see gallery at end)
     Died: 16 February 1943
John Joseph BROWN and Emily Clara DART both lived at Barton’s Mill in its early years of settlement.
John, as records show, was a teamster in 1914 and then a blacksmith 1916-1920.
Clara was a mid-wife and she also ran a Boarding House at Barton’s Mill
Clara, was related to Joseph Henry and Mary DART
Joseph DART was a very experienced teamster. He worked for Mason & Bird’s Mill until his death in 1883 after 
being crushed by a fallen tree.
John and Clara produced very large family of 12 children – sadly, 2 of them died at a very young age.
John and Clara parented a very large family of 12 children
Emily – Born: 28th June 1894 – Married George ANDERSON
Joseph Edward – Born: 24th March 1896
Walter John – Born: 12th February 1898
Susan – Born: 25 October 1899 – Married Eric JOHNSON
Mary Ann – Born: 14th July 1902 – Married Jas GOODCHILD
Ernest – Born: 26th December 1905
Clara – Born: 11th October 1908 – Married HUNTER
Frank – Born: 5th March 1910
Olive – Born: 25th March 1912. Married George William GIBBS then BAYTON
Elsie – Born : 2nd January 1917
Lucie (dec’d) – Died: 9th February 1914 – 6 days old – Buried at Barton’s Mill by
Robert MAITLAND, a friend
Agnes (dec’d) – Buried at Barton’s Mill
John Joseph BROWN and Emily Clara and their surviving 10 children lived at Barton’s Mill in a standard mill
house made from locally sawn timber (see below #4) 
John Joseph & Emily Clara BROWN's House at Barton's Mill (#4)
In 1913, John & Clara’s daughter Emily, married George ANDERSON.
Emily was attended by two of her younger sisters – Susie and Mary.  Susie as bridesmaid and Mary as flower girl.
     Born: 26 September 1915
     Died: 7 March 1943
George lived with his family at Barton’s Mill also and worked there as a log hauler.
Emily BROWN (#5)
George ANDERSON (#6)
Wedding of George ANDERSON & Emily BROWN 1913 (#11)
Left – Right:
Susie BROWN(sister), unknown, George ANDERSON(groom), Emily BROWN(bride) Jonny BROWN(brother) Mary BROWN(sister)
Emily and George ANDERSON (#12)
Archie’s father was a wood cutter, as most fathers were at the time.
Supplying the population of Perth with household wood, which they
brought into the rail siding of Karragullen by horse and cart.
Baby- George Arthur (Archie) ANDERSON (#17)
On the 26 September 1915, two years after Emily and George ANDERSON were
married, their first son was born at Barton’s Mill … 
George Arthur ANDERSON (Archie)
On 13 April 1917 another son was born to Emily and George …
The ANDERSON brothers: Archie & Charlie (#18)
George Arthur ANDERSON was better known as Arthur, but most people called
him by this nickname (Archie).
He lived a normal little boy’s life, spending much of his happy childhood at
Barton’s Mill with his younger brother Charlie. They did the things that children
of his days did, such as taking his dog roo hunting, roaming the bush and getting into plenty of mischief with his mates.
Archie spent his early schooling years at Barton’s Mill.
Rose Giumelli (nee Sala Tenna) remembered how embarrassed Archie was when he was asked to escort her to school on her first day.
A typical mill house at Barton's Mill like the ANDERSON's lived in (#14)
Archie and Charlie ANDERSON (#19)
Archie and Charlie ANDERSON .. with Lace Collars (#20)
At Barton’s Mill as a young man, Archie helped his mother Emily with chores and with the dairy cows at Barton’s Mill. Emily at one time was quite badly gored by the pet bull ‘Bevan”
At the age of 12, Archie would accompany his father in the truck delivering loads of wood to Forrest Place, in the city(Perth). At that time, the GPO (General Post Office) building was under construction there.  The site the building was built on was before that just a vegetable garden and before that a swamp.
At 15, Archie went to work for his uncle on a small timber mill – it was there he was introduced to the steam engine. Little did he know at that early age that this introduction would be one of the greatest influences in his life.
When Archie was 19, he went to work at a small mill which had been started up by a family friend – he was to drive the steam engine there.  Then at the age of 20 he passed his first steam certificate, being the youngest to do so at Technical College he had attended.
Later, Archie commenced work at the nearby Smailes’ Mill.  His position there was to run the steam engine that drove the mill.
He lived very nearby in a small cottage supplied and owned by the mill. Though Archie had no formal adult education, he had a natural gift for engineering & mechanics and he had a great knowledge and understanding of the workings of the steam engine.
He received all his qualification tickets from then Midland Railway Workshops so as to drive and operate Steam Engines after completing the necessary courses.
28 anderson 101 archie and rita culloron engaged
Engagement: Archie ANDERSON and Rita CULLOTON (#28)
Arthur George ANDERSON and Rita CULLOTON
Archie then met his wife to be, Rita CULLOTON
Rita lived in Guildford. She was at a young age placed
into the care of a Catholic Convent after both her
parents died and she became an orphan.
Her orphaned brother Allan was placed in the care of
another institution. Happily, many years later Rita was
able to re-unite with her brother, Allan.
After leaving the Convent, she lived with the King
family at Guildford. They loved her and treated her
as one of their own.
Romance blossomed between the two and on the 12 April 1941, Archie and Rita
were married in the Catholic Church, at Guildford.
Wedding of Arthur George ANDERSON & Rita CULLOTON - 12th April 1941 (#31)
Left – Right:
John CANNING, Fred KING, Mavis JOHNSTON, Morris KING, Rite & Arthur Geroge ANDDERSON (Bride & Groom), Audrey KING, Phil KID & Mrs A BRIMSON
After their marriage, Archie and Rita made their first home at the mill.
Archie continued to manage the steam engine which controlled all the power for the mill to operate. During WWII Archie was ‘manpowered’ at Smailes’ Mill.
In 1921, the Western Australian Government purchased six new Fowler Big Lion ‘B6’ stump pulling steam traction engines. These machines were mainly used in Group Settlement Schemes on properties in the south-west. 
Each machine weighed 16,326kg and had a top speed of 14km/hour and had an 18hp engine.
The first Fowler Traction Steam Engine that Archie bought, was one of two machines that were unloaded in 1921 in pieces at Fremantle harbor. The post WWI migration and returned soldiers Scheme WWI necessitated the use of
the 18hp monster. The machine was put to work clearing land in the Manjimup area for the Group Settlement Scheme.
In 1925 the machine was deployed for the purpose of land clearing for the Eastern Goldfields Railway.
Archie’s fascination with steam engines tempted him to own one of these Fowler Traction Steam Engines. He had worked extremely hard during the war years and saved money so he could eventually purchase one. In 1943-1944, the ‘bad boy’ was purchased by our very own Mr Archie Anderson and used as a tree puller.
Originally he used the machine in the hills area during the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. Archie paid 400 pounds for his monster machine.
After the war had finished, Archie purchased two more engines and employed ten men.
The steam traction engine was extremely powerful – driven by the two most powerful natural sources of strength- fire and water. This enabled it to pull down the most stubborn and the largest of trees. For many years, these powerful machines were used for pulling trees and general clearing of land for many of our local orchard properties. 
Where bullock teams failed, the traction machines easily uprooted trees. Many huge tree stumps had been left behind after the sawmills had logged the area and were proving to be exceedingly difficult to extract.
Bulldozers were not available at this time in history, therefore the only options to remove these stumps were to either dig them out by hand or blow them up using dynamite. A better option was now at hand with Archie’s immensely powerful traction engine. A steel cable was wrapped around the stump and when the full power of this massive engine was applied the stumps were easily removed from the ground.
The method of clearing land with a traction engine was a long arduous process. Before clearing the land, “Dolly” the horse had to drag the heavy metal cable out and around the trees. The cable had to be raised towards the top of the trees. Once in position the slack was taken up by the engine, then the hard work to pull the cable through the bush began. The cable was set high up on the trees to give leverage to pull the tree over and uproot all the trees in its path. This was actually quicker than cutting the trees down.
The steam traction machine did not have any brakes so it was necessary to park the engine against a large tree to stop the engine.
The success using the Traction Steam Engine was so great that that contracts developed when the Government Tree Pulling Program was implemented to help in the establishment of the soldiers’ settlement scheme. Leon NEAVES, John SHAW and Joe GIGLIA worked with Archie, operating these machines. Many trees on the properties around Pickering Brook that were part of the Scheme, were tree pulled before being occupied by the settlers.
The SALA TENNA children played a game of ‘how far can you go without touching the ground’ by walking from one tree log to another on their property when their father first purchased the land.
Archie ANDERSON's Steam Traction Engine at CARMEL (#42)
Archie ANDERSON (#44)
Archie ANDERSON's Steam Traction Engine at CARMEL (#41)
Archie ANDERSON (#43)
'Archie' ANDERSON'S Steam Traction Engine at CARMEL (#40)
Series of Photos - attaching cable and pulling over trees (46)
Series of Photos - attaching cable and pulling over trees (#47)
Series of Photos - attaching cable and pulling over trees (#48)
Series of Photos - attaching cable and pulling over trees Joe GIGLIA at extreme right (#45)
Archie ANDERSON working at GODBOLD's property in PICKERING BROOK (#50)
The ANDERSON's first car (#53)
Archie bought many vehicles in his life, cars,
trucks and traction engines.
He got his first car in 1931 at sixteen years of age.
Later he bought a Chrysler and then a huge Pontiac.
The Plymouth and Margaret ANDERSON (#54)
... the Pontiac (#55)
The ANDERSON Home – Carmel
Arthur (Archie) and his family later shifted to a house in Union Road, Carmel, owned by Ernie Mason, who worked at the mill. At about this time, Arthur acquired a 12acre property on Carmel Road, Carmel. This was achieved via a “barter system”.
For every acre of land that Archie cleared for the gentleman he gave Archie an acre of uncleared land of his property. Over a period of time, 12 acres were cleared and 12 acres were handed over to Archie in lieu   of payment.
Mac and Pam Beard of Pickering Brook, have fond memories of this house as it was on the veranda Mac made a very bold move and kissed her for the first time. They both remember that moment many years later.
The ANDERSONS's first home at CARMEL prior to revovations and enlarging - made from 2 x single men's units from the Mill (#58)
The ANDERSONS's home at CARMEL (#59)

THE ‘WORK HORSE’ pictorial 

L-R : Archie ANDERSON, Doug WATERS, Joe GIGLIA and 'DOLLY' (The Horse) (#60)
Archie ANDERSON working at Illawarra Orchard at KARRAGULLEN (#61)
Archie ANDERSON working at Illawarra Orchard at KARRAGULLEN (#62)
Left -Right: John SHAW, Leon NEAVES, DOLLY the horse and the Morris Commercial Truck (affectionally known as LOTTIE) (#63)
Archie ANDERSON's Steam Powered Roller at Carmel (#74)

Archie also purchased a steam roller from the Northern Shire in 1950. The machine was built in 1905 and came to Western
Australia in 1906. He won a contract with the Main Roads Department to work on the building of Brookton Highway. This
involved work for both his steam traction engine and his steam roller. If the traction engine could not pull the stump
out, then the road was re-aligned to go around it. Money was very tight during these development years and a lot of
bartering was done in lieu of payments.

Over many years he worked on rebuilding the old Fowler steam powered roller.

In 1950, Kalamunda depended upon rain tanks and wells for their water supply, and it was necessary to cart water into the
town. The Water Board advertised for Tenders for a pipeline to be constructed from Mundaring Weir to Kalamunda. This project would involve a lot of clearing, Archie won the Tenderto clear the land. He and his brother also cleared land for the Main Roads Department at Dwellingup, other projects included clearing for the Brookton Highway and also Bunning Road to Toodyay.

In 1950, Archie bought a brand-new American Diamond “T” truck from Wesfarmers for two thousand two hundred pounds and two pence. It came in pieces, and was assembled at Wesfarmers James Street depot.
This was the largest truck in the hills in those days.
At about this time he cleared his own 12 acre property and began to build a house. The house grew in size over the following
years with builder Alec ‘Robbie’ ROBINSON doing a lot of the additions.

Archie continually bent or broke rules, it was built into his nature, he did things then faced the consequences afterwards.
There are stories of him moving his steam traction engine along Wellington Street very early in the morning without a permit.
Road workers laid out planks for him to drive it over so it didn’t mark the road.

Archie ANDERSON and Jim LAIDLAW at Carmel (#97)
Archie continually bent or broke rules, it was built into his nature, he did things then faced the consequences afterwards.
There are stories of him moving his steam traction engine along Wellington Street very early in the morning without a permit.
Road workers laid out planks for him to drive it over so it didn’t mark the road.
Archie continued to clear land with his steam traction engines until the bulldozers appeared and took over that role. He
retired the last Big Lion in 1954 and it stood in his backyard for many years. It was bought in 1982 by Richard Harvey and
Roger Fry who fully restored the engine and it was the only working machine of its type in Western Australia.
They sold the restored machine to the West Australian Museum for 40,000 pounds ($80,000). It was the first purchase from the Museum’s Markham Fund, set up from the sale of vintage cars from the Markham Collection, but owing to lack of space, it was later moved to Whiteman Park where it is still on display.
With the sale of the Steam traction engine Archie decide to have a change of occupation He first bought a Diamond T Truck in
1952 and followed by buying an International 180 and then entered into the truck transport business.
In 1956 he received a contract to cart pre-fabricated homes to Land Settlement areas all throughout the Great Southern. The
homes were loaded and taken from Edison’s Mill, located at West Dale off Brookton Highway, However, Archie did not have a
permit to transport these large loads, so he would start in the dark of the early morning and take any available mate to
drive the truck for him. Tony RADICE, Harry GODBOLD and others.
The restored Steam Traction Engine (by Archie ANDERSON) at the WA Museum (#98)




EDISON'S MILL, Brookton Highway (#99)




EDISON'S MILL, Brookton Highway (#100)
In about 1960 Archie purchased two more powerful International 190s trucks only doing 4 miles per gallon of fuel. He later
acquired another contract, and hauled logs from the bush to a mill at Jarrahwood.
International Truck (#103)
International Truck with Archie and Rita ANDERSON (#104)
Archie continued log hauling until on the 24th January 1961 when a major bushfire destroyed Millar’s Dwellingup Mill.
Millar’s Timber & Trading had timber contracts to complete, they approached Archie to come back and re-open the closed Smaile’s Mill and take charge of the steam engine with which he was familiar. Not many people knew how to work the steam engine that was there, but Archie was the man as he  had a great rapport and working relationship with Millars Timber Company.
Oftermath - Dwellingup Fire 24th January 1961 (#105)
Oftermath - Dwellingup Fire 24th January 1961 (#106)
Oftermath - Dwellingup Fire 24th January 1961 (#107)
Oftermath - Dwellingup Fire 24th January 1961 (#108)
There were 10 – 15 tough timber men working at Smaile’s Mill that came mainly from the Dwellingup area. They rarely,
if ever, left the mill site and lived a lot on locally killed kangaroo and plenty of alcohol.
Kim RICHES remembers going out to the mill on Sundays to clean out the boiler. The steam engine drove everything at
the mill through overhead belts, even the pump that pumped water up to the mill from the creek. Whenever a big log
came in to the twin saws it put a huge load on the steam engine, so ever alert Archie would anticipate what was needed
and stoke the engine up to full steam so it could cope. Archie was an expert at sharpening saws he had developed the
skill as he sharpened the saws for his father and other men. While working at Smailes Mill he sharpened and maintained
the blades and saws.
Archie continued at Smailes Mill until about 1968 when he was replaced by ‘Sonny’ ARMSTRONG.
Smailes' Sawmill - PICKERING BROOK (#109)


Archie’s father, George ANDERSON had one of the first working
trucks in the hills with Syd SMAILES working for the Weston & Smailes
Mill at Pickering Brook.
Four generations of the family have been in the trucking industry. Archie’s on-in-law, Kim RICHES and his son are still in the trucking industry.
Kim RICHES reminisces how things have changed over the years.
Their first truck was 18hp – today they produce 600hp.
Archie and his good mate in his son-in-law Kim RICHES, ended up working together.  One day they went to West Toodyay  in an old International Ute with a tank of water, some wood, waste rag and oil to fire up an old disbanded traction engine that had been sitting under a tree for 10 years or more. He oiled her up then fired her and she burst into life. The next day the old girl was loaded on a Bell Bros low loader and brought back to Perth, eventually ending up at Channel TVW 7.
In the years between 1972-1974 Archie  carted logs for the Pickering Brook Sawmill.
Ernie BECHELLIi was the timber faller for the mill. They had an old International 190 with a single axle jinker and worked an area from Munday’s Gully through to out the back of Barton’s Mill.
Kim RICHES would go out on the weekends and clear a landing site and pull logs down to it for Archie to load the following week. Each day Archie would cart one load and sharpen the saws for the mill.
Archie ANDERSON worked in the timber industry for many
years and knew many people in all areas of the industry. He was well known and respected throughout. He had a very good understanding of the bush and how it all worked and he knew where everything should be in it. As he got older, he starting carting firewood and he always
knew the best places to find the good timber for that purpose.
In 1985 whilst 15km forest cutting fire wood one day with his mate, Ernie MASON, a serious accident occurred and Archie had a very close brush with death.
The chainsaw that he was using, clipped a protruding branch and jumped back at him. At full throttle it cut into his body like butter passing within one centimeters of his heart and throat.
He was cut from the neck to the breastbone.
“There seemed to be a lot of blood but it didn’t hurt and as I only had three logs to go, I thought I’d just finish them before going home. But my mate Ernie would have nothing of that and stripped off his singlet and pushed it into the hole” said Archie.
He was taken to the Kalamunda Hospital and then transferred to Royal Perth Hospital.
For Archie this was the first serious wound he had had since he started working in timber mills from the day he could walk.
‘Timber has been my life. I helped clear the land for the pipeline between Kalamunda and Mundaring with my steam traction engine and the very same vehicle was called into operation last year for a small part in the TV Mini Series ‘A Fortunate Life” … the bushman said.
He survived this and a few days later was back in the bush cutting those last three logs.RICHES 
Syd SMAILES and George ANDERSON at Pickering Brook (#110)
Achie Anderson and his Dog (#111)
Achie Anderson in hospital after Chain Saw Accident (#112)
... the 10 pound hand shake
Archie's hand made model of the Steam Traction Engine (#117)
There is a story told of a bet placed at Charlie Marchetti’s  poperty at Pickering Brook.
Archie was a very tough and extremely strong man. The bet was for 10 pounds ($20) between Archie anda Mr Karasketti as to who could lift the Fargo Truck. Hands were shaken sealing the bet.
Archie then laid on his back under the truck and lifted it by extending his legs. Quite a feat.
Mr. Karasketti tried to lift it with his hands but failed. He then grabbed a long pole which he used a
s a lever and lifted the truck. Archie of course protested, as he should. That was not on he said. The
lift was disputed and the bet was never paid.
In the late 1970’s Archie worked at the Midland Abattoirs for a number of years.


In 1986 his original steam traction engine that had been fully restored, formed part of a huge display at the Royal Agricultural exhibited by Bunnings Timber Merchants.
Archie was on hand to stoke it up and demonstrate its ability. Also displayed was a scale model of the Steam Traction Engine that Archie had handmade himself over many years.
The original machine was bought in 1990 by the Western Australian Museum and has appeared at the Royal Show, at machinery field days and on the television series “A Fortunate Life”.
It is now on display at  Tractor Museum at Whiteman Park.

The pictorial of the ‘Model Steam Engine’ – built by Archie ANDERSON 

Archie and his model (#116)
Bert & Alice BEARD, Archie ANDERSON and Frank GIDDINGS (#125)
Steam Traction Engine first firing of the model (with Frank Giddings) (#115)
.. first firing of the model Steam Engine (#113)
.. first firing of the model Steam Engine (with Ernie MASON) (#114)
Archie ANDERSON with his fully restored (Big Boy Toy) Steam Traction Engine and his model Steam Traction Engine on display at the1986 Perth Royal Show (#119)
Archie ANDERSON with his fully restored Steam Traction Engine and his Model (of same) on display at the 1986 Perth Royal Show (#118)
The original machine was bought in 1990 by the WA Museum and
has appeared at the Royal Show, at many machinery field days
and on the television series ‘A Fortunate Life’.
It is now on display at Whiteman Park tractor museum.
Archie ANDERSON's restored Steam Traction Engine - at the WA Museum (#98)
Archie ANDERSON - out in the bush (#121)
The ANDERSON family home in CARMEL (#123)
The ANDERSON home - Carmel (#122)
Retired - Archie ANDERSON and local young man (#124)
George Arthur (Archie) ANDERSON
George Arthur (Archie) ANDERSON

Family & additional Pictorials – select this link




Every endeavour has been made to accurately record the details however if you would like to provide
additional images and/or newer information we are pleased to update the details on this site.
Please click here to email us at info@pickeringbrookheritagegroup.com
We appreciate your involvement
in recording the history of our area.

Pickering Brook Heritage Group
Lorraine & Kim RICHES
Mac & Pam BEARD
Margaret HOLDMAN


1, 118, 119 120 Bill MUIR
2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119,
115, 116, 117, 121, 122, 123 – Margaret HOLDMAN
4, 5, 10, 21, 23, 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 59 – Lorriane RICHES
27, 43, 44 – Kalamunda & Districts Historical Society
33, 109, 110 – Ted SMAILES
50 – Helen ROSS
61, 62 – Tom PRICE
105, 106, 107, 108 – UNKNOWN
111 – Kalamunda Echo
112 – Ken ELLERY
124 – Mac & Pam BEARD