Wallis John & Emma

Research by Gordon Freegard 2018

The very first people to settle and take up land in our area were generally former workers from Mason & Bird Sawmill. Just before and after it closed, areas of land were taken up and clearing commenced to start their new life as orchardists and growers in the district. Some of the earliest recorded settlers were the following; Henry & Anna Mottram who settled in Carmel 1874, Richard & Mary Weston who settled in Pickering Brook 1875, John & Emma Wallis who settled in Walliston 1880, Arthur & Annie Gibbs who settled in Bickley 1891. These are the stories of those early pioneering families.

His Parents

Edward Wallis married Hannah Warchus on 1st April 1840 in Ticehurse, Sussex, by July the same year, he was a Police Constable in London. Edward joined the Metriopolitan Police, commonly known as the “Peelers”, on the 11th May 1840 as Warrant Officer 17037. He resigned from the Police Force on the 6th June 1844. Two years later, in 1850, Edward (33) sailed for Western Australia with his pregnant wife, Hannah (30) and three children, Harriet (7), John (3), and Ann (2), aboard the “Sophia”. John was born on 6th December 1848 in Tocehurst, Essex, England..
The “Sophia” was a 537 ton teak and yellow metal boat built in Calcutta in 1819. She was 128ft 3inches in length and had a beam of 36ft. She sailed to Australia only the once, with Master Captain John Clabon and a crew of 33 plus 250 passenger. He got paid 25 pounds wages for the journey.
On the 27th April 1850 the “Sophia” departed from Plymouth in southern England for Owen’s Anchorage, at Fremantle on the south-west coast of Australia. The weather was hot and calm for most of the three-month and 3 day voyage via Cape of Good Hope. On deck a large sail was filled with water to provide cool bathing and entertainment for the younger passengers.
Rations were supplied according to age. Children between five and fourteen years received half the adult share, but those under five years of age were given no allocation. As a result, a shortage of food often occurred amongst those families with several growing children with a capacity to eat adult quantities. For many passengers, the provision of oranges proved to be a novelty.
Since no fresh water was taken on board after the “Sophia” set sail from England, the immigrants felt the available supplies were scarce and of poor quality, while Colonial officials considered the supply to be adequate.
The water or lack of fresh provisions, may have been responsible for the bowel complaints during the voyage. Treatment with Opium mixture was used successfully by Surgeon Parr. The hospital cabin kept an extensive range of medicinals, but only a very limited quantity of many of the essential drugs.
When the weather permitted, schooling was carefully attended. Of the 30 children receiving tuition, most could not write when they came on board. Mr. Pope considered they learnt to “write a tolerable hand, and understand a little of arithmetic”, although Thomas Buckingham Jr (11), was to later write in his diary that he thought they had not learnt much. Also on board the “Sophia” were 12 members of the Buckingham family that eventually settled in the Kelmscott/Roleystone areas.
The passengers of the “Sophia” were generally considered respectable people, although several of the single girls from the Cork Foundling Home and Holborn Poorhouse, housed at Customs House at Fremantle, were accused of misbehaviour, reckless conduct, and were considered very different from the other immigrants in general character and appearance.
Indicating concern Acting Colonial Secretary T.N. Yule wrote to Immigration Agent F.D. Wittenoom on 15th August:

“It is with much more than mere official regret that I report … the abandoned conduct of several of the single females lately landed from the SOPHIA … eight or ten frequently found in the public houses and streets, drunk, in company with sailors and other dissolute characters. I propose to remove the names [from] the Rations List of the ill-conducted girls and deny their admittance to the depot. “Yule concluded that he was aware that this solution may indeed create further problems, and suggested moving the girls to Perth and Guildford immediately, “away from the contaminating associates of a seaport”.

The acute accommodation shortage led to the leasing of several buildings in Perth and Fremantle. Some of the immigrants were placed at the disused steam driven flourmill below Mt. Eliza (on the site where the Swan Brewery was later built). The mill was a three-storey building with steep narrow ladders, not designed for habitation. The Inquirer newspaper of September 11, 1850 reported an accident to one of the female immigrants “who fell from the upper story of … the depot, and alighted on the platform beneath. She remained for some time insensible. The Colonial Surgeon was quickly in attendance … we regret she is still in a precarious state.”
While residing at the Immigration Depot, adult daily ration allowances were:

1 lb bread
1 lb meat
½ lb potatoes
2 oz sugar
¼ oz tea

The “Sophia” was closely linked with the commencement of the convict era and the Assisted Emigration Scheme in Western Australia. It should also be realised at that time no female convicts were to be transported to Western Australia. Lengthy negotiations with the home Government regarding the benefits and concerns of convict transportation had ended with an agreement requiring an equal number of free immigrants to receive passage and settlement costs at the Imperial Government’s expense. The 250 assisted immigrants on the “Sophia” were the first to arrive under this new scheme
On arrival at Fremantle, on the 27th July 1850 the men were sent ashore to find employment. Only then were the families allowed ashore. Their fourth child was born on board the “Sophia” whilst at anchor in Owens Anchorage on the 31st July 1850, four days after arriving and was named Agnes Sophia, after the boat they were on. Edward found employment and the family settled in Fremantle. Edward’s occupation in England had been a farm labourer however in Australia he worked as a trooper and as a sawyer where he employed two “Ticket-of-leave” men at Fremantle during 1864-1865.

According to research by John Bell, Harriet was born on the 29th April 1842 at 38 Gee Street, Finsbury, London and later Christened on 22nd May 1842 at St. Luke, Old Street, Finsbury, London. She arrived in Fremantle with the rest of the family in 1850. Harriet married John Ballantine, a Royal Engineer, at the Congregational Chapel in Fremantle on the 23rd July 1853. A Royal Engineer was a member of a British Military Corps and sent out to Western Australia to oversee and assist in the various infrastructures and building improvements in the colony such as the building of the goal in Fremantle.. John was only in Western Australia for three years and it is likely that he arrived on the convict ship “Nile” in January 1858 and apart from marrying in Fremantle may have spent some time in King George Sound in Albany. Harriet was only sixteen years and 85 days old when she married.. Three years later they were off back to England. The family moved again in November 1877 to Sydney.

Sophia married a George Lewis. Another two daughters were born in Fremantle. Hannah Lillian May on 25th October 1857 in Fremantle, who married George Harwood when she was 16 at Fremantle, and when she was 28, married John William Bright. And Fanny born in 4th August 1860, who unfortunately died eleven days later.

John Wallis

John grew up in the Fremantle area and trained as a carpenter and wheelwright. He was reputed to have installed the organ pipes in St. Johns Church, Fremantle and St. Georges Cathedral in Perth. On the 19th November 1873 at the Pinjarra Anglican Church, he married Emma, the daughter of Levi and Lucy Sarah Green (nee Senyard) of Pinjarra. Emma was born on 17th October 1852 at Barragup, one mile from Mandurah and was the elder daughter in the family. The first year of their marriage was spent at Pinjarra where their first son, Levi John was born on 4th November 1874 in a house located next door to what was the Copper Kettle Restaurant.
He worked as a police/prison officer in Fremantle, but resigned after a likely transfer to Geraldton. John then moved to the hills and worked at Mason & Bird’s Bickley Sawmill as a carpenter and wheelwright. He built a mill house and sent for Emma and the children in April 1880. Emma, with their three children, Levi 6 years old, Lucy 3 years old and baby Fred (3 weeks), caught a barge from Fremantle to Cannington, arranged the use of a saddle horse and made the nine mile track up the Darling Range on foot carrying Fred on a pillow and with Levi looking after Lucy.
Two more of their eight children were born at the mill, David in 1882 and May in 1884.

They were one of the first settlers in the area and took up 100 acres of land of Canning locations 311,460, 48/1270, in 1883. A year later they moved into their home, one of the first privately owned dwellings in the area built on their property called “Orangedale” on Canning Road between Pomeroy and Orangedale Road. There, three more children were born, they were Theodore, Frank and Florence.


There were only a few families scattered through the heavily timbered area around Kalamunda. Most of them worked on a timber mill and took up properties after the mill closed.
John and Emma worked hard at clearing the land and planting fruit and vegetable gardens. The land had to be cleared by felling the trees, grubbing out scrub, burning out the stumps and then tilling the land – arduous and dirty work. Wheat, fruit trees, strawberries and vegetables were planted and there were hens, pigs, a cow and horses. Until the fruit trees became profitable, John planted four acres of Edith Cavell strawberries which were sent to the markets in Perth for sale. Wheat was sown by hand, reaped by scythes, tied in sheaves, flailed on the ground and then hand-gristed to make flour. To supplement their food supply wallaby was caught using dogs and flour made from the hearts of zamia palms. Which were washed to remove the poison, dried and then ground into flour. Brumbies (wild horses) would be caught and broken in for farm and family use. The creek and well were the only water supplies.

On the property, a solid four room cottage was built of timber slabs from the clearing. Nails were scarce so the uprights and beams were often doweled together. There was glass in the windows of the cottage and an iron roof. The galley which was 15 – 20 feet away from the house, it contained the kitchen and general assembly area with a large open hearth, handmade bush timber table and benches, stretchers, flattened earth floor covered with sacks and open windows and doors.

After the mill closed, money was scarce, and John had to find other employment away from home. He obtained work at Flontroys Dairy in Redcliffe and worked from 4.00a.m. until dark six days a week for one pound ten shilling (3 Dollars). He would come home monthly to do more land clearing and development. From 1889 to 1891, John got work for eight shillings (80 cents) a day on the construction of Victoria Reservoir.

John used his skills to make their furniture such as a table with turned legs, a large chest of drawers and a sofa, the back of which was carved from a solid piece of timber using an adze axe. A dining Table he made is in the Kalamunda History Village. He also made boots from kangaroo hide and the boot were so sturdy that they were passed down from child to child.

John Wallis was a successful orchardist and contributed to the community as a foundation member of the Darling Range Vine and Fruit Growers Association and was a member of the local Roads Board in 1906. In 1906, a visitor to the district noted that the Wallis’s lived in a ‘pretty little home’.

In 1911 John became very ill. He was nursed at home by Emma and died at his residence “Orangedale”, Walliston on 5th May 1911 of cardiac disease, aged 62 years. His funeral took place in the Guildford Anglican Cemetery on Sunday 7th May 1911. The service was conducted by Rev. H. Myerson. John Wallis was a resident in the Canning Hills district for 30 years. The Darling Range Road Board sent a wreath out of respect to the late Mr. Wallis, who was at one time a member of the Board. The cortege was a long one, with many old settlers paying a last tribute of respect.

Gold Discovery

When John Wallis was developing the orchard at “Orangedale” he would periodically pack up and go off for 3 or 4 days. When he returned he would go to Perth and sell the gold he had discovered. This would help to tide the family over. In later years when he had to give up work after he had an accident at Millar’s Railway, the memories of John’s sojourns intrigued his son, Levi. “Where did the gold come from?” He travelled around and eventually discovered it. He refused to disclose the site believing it would lead to crime and trouble. Since then it has been found but after making enquiries about the hassles involved for accessing mining equipment and the Conservation Act of the area , it would not be viable so like Levi Wallis, it was decided to leave it there

Emma Wallis

Emma Green was born on 17th October 1852 at Barragup, one mile from Mandurah and was the elder daughter in the family of twelve children. Her parents, Levi and Lucy Green, of “Brookdale”, Pinjarra, were old residents of the district. Her father arrived in this State by the ship “Shepherd” in 1843 and her mother by the ship “Mary” in 1849.

Emma married John Wallis on 19th November 1973 at the Pinjarra Anglican Church. John was 27 years and Emma was 21 years. The first year of marriage was spent at Pinjarra where their first son, Levi John was born on 4th November 1874. After some years in the Fremantle area, John moved to the hills to work at Mason & Bird’s Mill as a wheelwright and carpenter. Emma followed shortly after.

After the closing of the Mason’s Mill in the late 1880’s, some of the former employees stayed in the district and eventually took up land, along with John & Emma Wallis.

A significant pioneering woman of the Kalamunda district. In 1883, Emma and her husband John were the first settlers of the area eventually named after them, Walliston. Their home, one of the first privately owned dwellings in the area was built on their property named “Orangedale”, on Canning Road between Pomeroy and Orangedale Roads.

In addition to domestic tasks, Emma helped clear and work the land, planted and sowed crops, tended to the garden and animals and made butter. Water for the household was first carried by hand from Yule Creek and washing was done at the creek in a large tub with homemade soap, made from fat and lye and a scrubbing board. All washing and rinsing was by hand and clean clothes were hung over bushes until a line of wire was strung between two trees. All clothes were handmade.

She also baked bread, many loaves every second day for the family and workers at Mason’s Mill. The yeast used was made from potatoes and hops. She also plaited wheat straw and made hats. She also became the midwife for most of the districts births and it is believed she delivered up to 200 children. She was a small neat person, always wearing a snow white apron and would be called out at all hours of the day or night to attend a birth. It was not an uncommon sight to see Emma, holding a lantern and guiding her horse along the bush tracks. On Christmas Day 1907 she left the family dinner to deliver Harold Littley, one of our respected citizens.

John and Emma Wallis and their family all worked on the “Orangedale” property. Emma loved Siamese cats as family pets.

There were no shops in the area and few roads, merely tracks. When provisions were necessary, Emma rode one horse and took with her a pack horse once a month to Guildford to William Padbury’s Store to do the shopping. The children had to say at home by themselves. It was a 40 km ride to Guildford through almost impenetrable forest no roads, only bridle tracks that the wild brumbies had made. Hills people would sometimes spend the night and catch the train to Perth. Needless to say, they tried to be as self-sufficient as possible growing vegetables, planting fruit trees and keeping some animals. They would think nothing of walking six or seven miles to visit a friend.

By 1844 William Padbury had opened a butcher’s shop in Perth and established his first store in Guildford in 1865. This magnificent building was constructed in 1869 and was at the time considered to be one of the most imposing buildings in the Colony. The current facade, which considerably changed the building’s appearance was added circa 1900 (despite being dated 1869). He also opened shops in Moora and Toodyay as well as owning the Peerless Flour Mill at Guildford.


A well-known and respected woman throughout the district, Emma was a founder of Carmel School which opened in 1903 and Carmel Church. A life member of the Kalamunda Agricultural Society, where she won many prizes for her exhibits and donated the Emma Wallis Memorial Trophy for the exhibitor with the highest number of aggregate points. The last person to win this trophy was her daughter Florence. Sadly, this trophy was stolen from her daughter’s home after her mother died.

As time moved on, her children married and some settled in the district, and of course there were grandchildren. She loved them all, but there was no nonsense and no fuss. There were Levi’s four and Lucy’s eight, Fred’s five, May’s two Frank’s three, Dave’s four and Theo’s two.

After John’s death in May 1911 aged 62 years, Emma lived in “Orangedale” until she bought land in Pomeroy Road, Canning Location 311 and with the help of her sons, she had a large house built which was one of the finest in the district at that time. She called it “Woodlands” and lived there with her unmarried daughter Florence. To buy land she grew and sold cape gooseberries, other fruit and flowers. Her youngest son, Frank took over the “Orangedale” property. Emma lived there with her youngest daughter, Florence. “Woodlands” soon became self-supporting with cows, (milk, cream, butter and meat), pigs, hens, and an orchard with apples, apricots, citrus and figs. Fruit was used fresh or dried and later on, preserved in Vacola jars when these became available. The front paisley shaped garden beds were unique. There was a large shed where Emma’s four wheeled carriage – a Phaeton – was kept. She used to drive her carriage, pulled by a horse called “Creamy”, into Kalamunda to the Church of England on Sundays. There were 2 seats and a small seat at the front near the horse’s tail, where the children had to sit. After church they would return home to have a hot roast dinner ready, read bible stories or go visiting other local families in the afternoon.


Nearly 120 residents from all parts of the State assembled on October 17th, 1967 at “Woodlands”, Walliston, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Mrs. Emma Wallis’ birthday. Having come to this district 42 years ago, and being the old surviving pioneer of the locality, she can relate some stirring incidents of the early days. She has seen production in the hills grow from nothing to thousands of cases of fruit and hundreds of tons of vegetables yearly. Notwithstanding her advanced age, Mrs. Wallis has one of the prettiest and best-cared-for flower gardens in the West, which is visited from far and wide, and admired by all who have been fortunate enough to have seen it. By the above number of guests it will be seen how popular and appreciated Mrs. Wallis is. In sickness, or wherever a kind action can be shown, this old pioneer is one of the first to come forward. An enjoyable evening, including a dainty supper and dance, was spent, and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Many useful and valuable presents and letters were received from relatives and friends.

A lifetime of toil and achievement, problems and joys eventually took their toll on Emma until she became too ill to continue. Her family cared for her at home. On Sunday 19th April 1931, she died after a long illness, at her residence, “Woodlands”, Walliston. She was one of the earliest settlers in the Darling Ranges, having been there for 50 years. She was 78 years old and leaves five sons, three daughters, 27 grandchildren and two great grandchildren to mourn her loss. Prior to the departure of the cortege, a short service was held at her late residence, when her favourite hymn, “God Will Take Care of You”, was rendered. The funeral took place on Tuesday 21st April in the Anglican portion of the Guildford Cemetery, where her remains were interred in the family grave, The Rev. Hurst conducted the service at the graveside, supported by the Rev. H. Morrell and the Rev. Tom Allen, who eulogised the deceased’s pioneering work and good deeds performed for the benefit of the district and the residents generally.

The esteem in which she was held was evidenced by the very large number of friends who gathered at the graveside to pay their last respects. Some 32 cars were in attendance. Many beautiful floral wreaths and messages of sympathy were received by the grieving relatives.


By 1891 the Upper Darling Range Railway had been built mainly to provide transport for the timber mills. It provided a line from Midland Junction to Kalamunda and Pickering Junction, then eventually south as far as Karragullen. One of the stops was near the Wallis home and was called variously Wallis’s Crossing, Wallis’s Landing, 12 Mile Siding (because it was 12 miles from Midland), South Kalamunda, Heidelberg and Heidelberg Grove, and was eventually serviced by a low-level platform and shelter shed. Locally grown produce was transported to the Perth markets from here. Whatever the name, it was a considerable advantage to the Wallis family and the other settlers gradually joining them.

However, there was no timetable and passengers were not the main priority until in 1903 the government, after many petitions, took over most of the line and provided a regular passenger service. This railway siding had the highest altitude on the rail line at 1021 feet (compared to Kalamunda at 930 feet).

The area was on the move. In 1896 Mr. Charles H. Brooks and his family leased Stirk Cottage and the two-storied barn in which he started operating a small general store. It was the first shop in Kalamunda. When the lease expired the business had outgrown the existing setup. So on consultation with William Padbury and his advice, it was decided to build and open a new store in Kalamunda. In 1903 he opened his new shop, it was situated on Canning Road where Stirk Medical Group now stands (2018). John Wallis became one of the first strawberry growers in the district and they were carried to Perth four times a week by Mr Brooks. They were sold through a firm called Silbert & Sharp at 2/6 (25 Cents) a pound for the best quality. Mr. Brooks’ two horses that drew the open wagon to Perth were named Rondo and Nero

The original Wallis large orchard landholding was subdivided for residential occupancy leaving the residence on a small lot surrounded by mature trees. In 2011, two of the outbuildings associated with its former use as an orchard were demolished. Currently [2013] the residence is still owned and occupied by members of the Wallis family.

Their Children

Levi John Born 4th November 1874 at Pinjarra

Died 17th March 1966 at Busselton, buried at Guildford Cemetery

Married Ada Morris on 16th July 1913 at St. Swithans, Lesmurdie


Lucy Ann Jane Born 13th April 1877 in Fremantle

Died 8th August 1958 at Bickley, Western Australia

Married George Henry Palmateer on 28th April 1897


Frederick Rueben Born 10th April 1880 in Fremantle

Died 7th April 1961 at Lesmurdie

Married Kate Winifred Edwards at Kalamunda in 19th April 1904.

Daughter of Benjamin & Frances (nee Skipper) Edwards

Born 24th May 1881 (1882) South Australia

Died 17th August 1960 at Lesmurdie, Western Australia


David George Born 28th June 1882 at Mason & Bird Mill, Bickley

Died on 14th November 1962 at Bunbury, Western Australia

Married Nellie (Ellen) Jones on 29th March 1911 in Harvey, Western Australia


Annie May Born 16th December 1884 at Mason & Bird Mill, Bickley

Died 11th July 1955 in Perth, buried Guildford Cemetary, Western Australia

Married George E. Blamire in 1909.(1908)


Theodore Edward Born 22nd November 1887 at “Orangedale”, Walliston

Died 29th September 1938

Married Victoria “Girlie” Perrin Huxtable, daughter of John and Gertrude Huxtable of Pinjarra, on 28th August 1912


Frank William Born 22nd May 1892 at Guildford

Died 4th July 1976 at Carmel, Western Australia

Married Mary Julia Quinn on 17th February 1914 in Guildford


Emily Florence Born 7th July 1897 at “Orangedale” Walliston (Emily Florence Wallis had written her own birthdate down as 7th September 1897 in the records she had written down for the family)

Died 9th September 1983

Married Alfred Reginald Halleen (28) at Methodist Church, Carmel on 28th October 1925


In 1903 there was a move for a town-site to be gazetted but the Lands Department rejected the request stating that the block suggested (Canning Location 461) consisted of the roughest class of ironstone jarrah forest.

Both John Wallis and also his eldest son, Levi Wallis, served as elected members on the Darling Range Road Board and actively sought to further develop their area.

In 1915 the South Kalamunda Progress Association wrote to the Commissioner of Railways requesting a name change from Wallis’s Landing to Walliston. This request was successful. Walliston was born!

In 1918 the Townsite of Walliston was approved, with a subdivision of residential blocks as well as provision for ten acres for a future recreation reserve.

It was not until 1970 that the Shire of Kalamunda (formerly the Darling Range Road Board) agreed to the development of a Walliston General Industrial Area to be approved. It was in that year, too, that the Walliston Primary School was built.

Levi Wallis

Levi was the eldest child of John and Emma Wallis. He was born on 4th November 1874 at Pinjarra.

At 21 years old, Levi received a grant of 50 acres at 1/- an acre at Lot 183 Mitchell Road in 1895 and started clearing an orchard in 1896. He worked as a labourer and gardener in the district. Levi was a member of the Darling Range Road Board and retired from that position in 1903.

Levi married Ada Morris at a pretty and quiet wedding celebrated at St. Swithin’s Church, Lesmurdie, Kalamunda, on July 15th, 1913, with Rev. Mr. Nicholls officiating. Ada was the second daughter of the late Mr. M. J. Green, of Warburton, Victoria.

The house to which he took his bride, after the wedding, was a very basic shack. In fact the stables were to become family home as it was cosier than the shack the family was living in. Levi and Ada had four children, Lindsay John born 8th May 1914 at Walliston, Albert Kitchener born 26th June 1915 at Walliston, Stanley Robert born 30th September 1916 at Walliston and Marjorie Joy born 27th June 1921 at K.E.M.H. Subiaco. Levi Wallis continued to work as a labourer finding work with the Roads Board clearing roads and later he secured employment with the Railways

The building had a framework of bush poles, the corner uprights being about half a metre in diameter, overlaid with upright face cuts. As the family grew and needed a larger house, Levi improved the shed by converting it into the snug four roomed house that stood for many years.


The cracks between the cuts of boards were sealed with strips of tin meticulously cut with hand shears, tacked fast, and painted over. The floor, was made from sleeper seconds from the railway which skirted the property. A railway stop nearby, originally known as the 12 Mile Siding, is now known as Wallis’ Landing after his parents and the name Walliston was given to the entire area when it was gazetted in 1918 as a town site.

The original water supply for the house consisted of a wooden barrel or water butt which caught the rain of the roof. Washing and bath water was carried from a spring in the tea-tree swamp nearby. Levi’s dwelling stands as a living memorial to the hard and often lonely pioneering efforts of the early settlers in the hills.

Levi worked to the railways around Barton’s Mill at Pickering Brook. Hauling logs from the forest out as far as Mount Dale back to the Mill and also carrying the finished timber to the rail head at Pickering Junction to connect with the timber trains from Canning Mills travelling down the Zig Zag to Perth.

Levi died on 17th March 1966 at Busselton aged 91 years, and is buried at Guildford Cemetery


The buildings continued to evolve to a rectangular timber cottage with lean-to roofed section on east side. The property was vacated in 1978 and by this time the place was in poor condition.

The property was bought by Joyce Coglan, to save it from destruction and to conserve it. The new owners undertook conservation works in 2005 and the project was been funded to a large extent by the owners, but did received a substantial amount of support through the Heritage Council’s Heritage Grants Program and is on the State Heritage list.

Phillip Griffiths Architects were contracted to carry out the preservation project, which was about conserving a sole surviving example of a dwelling built with mill face-cuts, and with evidence of subsequent additions. It reflects innovation of the early settlers and shows how people lived on the land in fairly spartan circumstances. It aimed to conserve as much authentic fabric as possible and to adapt the place for simple contemporary uses. The work was based on a conservation plan prepared by Laura Gray and the adaptation has been planned around conserving significant fabric, removing intrusive fabric, and adapting spaces. The place has been sympathetically fitted out and furnished and is now used for accommodation. The stables are used for a variety of purposes and are designed to provide flexible space for displays, studio space, talks, and so on – community festival events. The property in now owned by Dot Ginbey.

The finished conservation project received the Western Australian Architectures Conservation Award in 2006.

Lucy Wallis

In 1894, Mr. G. H. Palmateer came to Western Australia from Heidelberg, Victoria, and took up a tract of several hundred acres of virgin bushland in the Bickley Valley and set to work to carve out for himself a home and an orchard.

He called his allotment “Heidelberg” because he likened it to the Heidelberg he had known in Victoria. A hut of jarrah slats, sapling frame and bark roof was soon built. With axe, shovel, cross-cut saw, kangaroo jack and grindstone, the virgin acres of trees and scrub yielded to the planting of an orchard. It was one of the first orchards in the hills district from Kalamunda to Karragullen.


It was at Stirk’s Cottage, which is still standing in Stirk’s Park, Kalamunda, that an eligible bachelor from Victoria, who was busy establishing himself in an adjoining valley, met and won the heart of 16 year old Lucy, it was George Henry Palmateer. Lucy was the second eldest child of John and Emma Wallis and was born on 13th April 1877 in Fremantle. Although her father was against it, three years later, on 28th April 1897, George (30) and Lucy (20) travelled by horse and buggy to the Church of England Church, Guildford, where they were married in front of six guests. So began their 55 years of marriage. Along with her good wishes, Emma gave Lucy a few of the now rare Princep daffodil bulbs, originally from “Blythewood” at Pinjarra, to enjoy at her new home. Little did Lucy know how well these daffodil bulbs would reward her in later life.

They lived in a jarrah shingled, four bedroom house built of bricks made of sun-dried clay from the excavating of a dam on the property. They had eight children – Gordon Victor born 1st March 1898 at Heidelberg, Roy Henry born 1st November 1899 at Heidelberg, Myrtle Alice born 30th December 1901 at Heidelberg, Thelma May born 2nd July 1906 at Heidelberg, Clarice Victoria born 16th June 1910 at Kew, Victoria, Phyllis Irene born 14th January 1913 at Heidelberg, Dulcie Olwyn born 27th September 1914 at Heidelberg and Audrey Merridy Adele born 16th August 1918 at Heidelberg. By 1907 a more substantial homestead was built to accommodate the growing family.

The ten room building incorporated the former home. With 40 centimetre thick walls of clay brick, rafters of imported Oregon and concrete steps curving up to the front verandah overlooking the beautiful valley, the home eventually became a “show place”. It was known for its hospitality and beautiful surroundings, which included the magnificent magnolia and camellia trees.

The property was irrigated from a natural spring situated on high ground. In the early days the water not only reticulated for irrigation but also used to turn a Peltham water wheel which drove a small electric generator providing lighting to all the house in the evenings. It is believed this was the first electric lighting in the district.


The depression years hit hard. Fruit prices fell as low as one tenth of the expected price. To supplement the family income, Lucy considered growing daffodils commercially, because the bulbs given to her at her wedding, were thriving. So in 1925 one acre of fresh ground was cleared and hundreds of bulbs replanted. By the mid 1930’s more land had been prepared and over 10,000 daffodils bloomed. As the venture grow the plantings expanded and in 1944 a harvest of more than 50,000 blooms were picked over three weeks. The whole hillside was a blanket of yellow. Audrey assisted Lucy with the daffodil crop and it was not uncommon for the two of them to pick 5,000 to 6,000 flowers in one day. On a vital picking day in August of 1944, Lucy fell sick. However, the flowers had to be picked, so Phyliss, Audrey, Florrie, Clem and Mavis picked as hard as they could in the pouring rain. As a result, 24,000 daffodils were packed and ready for sale.

In 1947, at their spacious old home, “Heidelberg”, surrounded by acres of well-cared-for orchard land, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Congratulations came from far and near, including a cable from one son, Dr. Roy Palmateer, now of California, a long-distance telephone call from their eldest son, Pastor Gordon Palmateer, of Adelaide, and a telegram from a daughter, Mrs. T. Knyvett, of New South Wales, as well as good wishes from other members of the family and numerous guest who attended their golden wedding tea.

Lucy’s life ended suddenly on 8th August 1958 at Bickley, Western Australia. Her body was laid to rest beside her husband’s in Guildford Cemetery.

Fred Wallis

Frederick Rueben Wallis was born at Fremantle on 10th April 1880. He left school at 14 and worked at home for a while and then went clearing roads around the district with two of his brothers. Later on he went to Canning Mills, became a champion axeman, competing with his brother, David at log chops all round the South West. He took up 96 acres of land at Canning Location 570 near Bickley. He cleared and planted the property at weekends – rode down and aided by the horse, pulled and burnt the scrub and trees, dug a well, slept in a tent and rode home again Sunday night after a good deal of hard work.

At 22 years old he married Kate Winifred Edwards (22) at the Kalamunda Agricultural Hall on 19th April 1904. Their reception was one of the first to be held in the newly built Hall. Fred’s father, John, helped draw up the plans and build the Hall. Kate was the daughter of Rev. Benjamin and Frances Edwards (nee Skipper)

They first lived in a very humble cottage in Lawnbrook Road on Fred’s property which he had called “Pretoria. It was a hard life for Kate after the upbringing she had, but she coped and reared 3 daughters and 2 sons. Fred served in the 1st World War in France and Belgium and arrived home safely when the war came to an end in 1918

An R.S.L. Ladies Auxiliary was formed to support the returned soldiers and Kate was a member and president for many years and her committee raised the money to erect the Memorial and gardens in Kalamunda.

On 1st June 1919, Mrs. Pritchard, in Canning Road, gave up the Post Office and it
was taken over by the Wallis family. Kate was appointed Postmistress at Walliston, and helped by Edna. A telephone exchange was installed and expanded to more than 20 subscribers as the district grew. A code system was devised.

Kalamunda 3 short rings
Walliston 4 short rings
Bickley 1 long, 3 short
Carmel 2 long, 2 short
Pickering Brook 3 long, 1 short
Karragullen 3 short, 1 long

She continued to hold this position until she retired in 1947, when she was presented with a gift from grateful residents for 28 years of loyal service. With very little time to spare, Kate still found time the wounded and convalescent soldiers at the Home in Lesmurdie and entertained them at the piano.
Fred always had a great love of sport and developed two grass tennis courts on the property and also on a flat piece of land next to them, was turned into a cricket pitch. The Pioneer Sports Club was formed and people came from surrounding orchards and great games of tennis and cricket were played.

One most pleasing community event took place at Walliston on the Wednesday 29th December 1923. Over 200 children from Walliston and surrounding districts assembled at 2 p.m. to partake in sports and games, etc, on Fred Wallis’ lawn, which was keenly contested and enjoyed by the young folk. About 6 p.m. they were then marshalled and marched up the road to “Halleendale”, the residence of Mrs. Florence Halleen (nee Wallis), where a scrumptious juvenile banquet was served. The tables were beautifully and artistically arranged, being decorated with lemon and mauve streamers, and by the way of edibles everything that could appeal to the most delicate appetite was provided. The appearance of the tables afterwards showed the children had done full justice to the good things provided, which must have proven a compliment to the strong committee who had been working so hard for months to give the children a Christmas treat. And then at 7.30 p.m. the Christmas Tree. Father Christmas arriving by motor car in full view of a happy band of young Westralians, who handed to each child a present from the heavily laden Christmas tree. Prior to Father Christmas’ arrival the tree and tables were open for inspection by parents and visitors to avail themselves of the opportunity to express their feelings of gratitude to the committee for the splendid display their hard work had produced. The children’s expression was, “I have never had such a good time in all my life.” The committee’s reply being, “We are amply repaid by the looks and happiness on the children’s faces”. What generally disappoints – the ending of the event – was alleviated by the kindness of Mr. Logie, who motored the little ones home, and he was going until nearly midnight.

Members of the Wallis family were very community minded and great gardeners.
Between the wars Fred Wallis’ property was one of the showplaces of the district. It was opened regularly to the community for sports such as tennis, croquet and cricket.
In later years, about 1947 or thereabouts, Fred became interested in lawn bowls and laid down the first Bowling Green in the Kalamunda area and some of the players became foundation members of the Kalamunda Club. Rex Mizen, John Moffat, George Pettit and Cyril Lording tried out their skills. Some wooden bowls were used and there is the original set that Fred Wallis used on display at the Kalamunda History Village. A croquet field was also laid out and this was popular with the ladies and children, also a mini golf course caused a lot of fun. There was never a dull moment.

Top Left: ( ? ), Fred Wallis, ( ? ), Frank Weston, Surrey Swan, Dick Griffiths, Joe Gray, Jack Littley, George Winning, Hugh Halleen, Jack Wallis, Harold Littley

A cricket match was suggest to Fred but the only place was the cow paddock. The men had a get together, put the work around and the “Pioneers Sports Club” was formed. The ground was cleared of cows etc. Matting and bats were bought and the first match was played against the Convalescent Home. Many other games were played with teams coming even from Perth for a picnic in the hills.

About 1935 Fred joined the Roads Board and worked constantly until December 1945 when he retired and received a gold watch and a wallet in recognition of his services. He was the first grader driver and the machine caused a good deal of interest. The roads were all gravel at that time and the previous method of grading to smooth out the corrugations was by horse drawn graders which was slow. He helped form a committee to save Stirk Park for the use of the public instead of being sold for private housing.


In 1935 residents of the district arranged for a social afternoon at the home of Fred Wallis’ property to farewell Mr. A. E. Jackson, who has retired after being the Headmaster of the Carmel School for 22 years. A presentation will be made to Mr. Jackson by Mr. R. S. Sampsom, M. L. A.

Kate passed away peacefully at Lesmurdie on 17th August 1960 and rests in the Guildford Cemetery, after a lifetime spent giving and caring for all those fortunate people who came into contact with her. Remembered always by her loving family for the example she set, for the way she cared for them, and for her beautiful face that never grew old.

Fred passed away on 7th April 1961 and is buried next to his wife in Guildford Cemetery. He was physically very strong and energetic and achieved so much in his lifetime – his efforts gave so much pleasure to so many people. He was always eager to help any organisations raise fund and made his property available. Sadly this beautiful property has succumbed to the bulldozers and developers – progress it is called – and nothing now remains but a cottage, overgrown grass of what was once a place of great charm. The avenue of giant pear trees, the camellias and hydrangeas, the lawns and tennis courts are gone forever more.

The Carmel Methodist Church, built in 1915, was removed and rebuilt in Lawnbrook Road at Walliston where it was re-clad in new asbestos sheeting. It was well patronised and at one time over 40 children attended Sunday School. Kate’s early religious training came in useful, she played the organ and was one of the instructors. At the time of the relocation a stone bench seat was built in front of the church in memory of early settlers Kate and Fred Wallis. The plaque on the bench reads “REST AWHILE. A tribute to the memory of our loved parents, Kate and Fred Wallis, 1880-1961. True Pioneers” The church has since been demolished but the bench remains. A branch of the C.W.A. was formed and she was a foundation member.

Notice stone bench at extreme right

Several generations have wonderful memories of days spent in happiness on the lawns of Kate and Fred’s place. After their deaths, within six months of each other, in 1961, the property was sold. The second owner was a developer with little thought of land care. Fruit fly attacked the fruit and the Inspector ordered a clean up. A bulldozer was brought in and did just that, flattened everything in sight. So ended an era of much joy and companionship.

David Wallis

David George Wallis, the fourth son of John and Emma Wallis, was born at Mason & Bird’s Mill on 28th June 1882. Dave met his bride-to-be, Ellen Margaret Jones, when he came down to Harvey from Kalgoorlie where he was cutting timber for the mines. He was staying with relatives, the Green family in order to attend a large ball to be held in the town. She was the daughter of Arthur and Ellen Margaret (Parmenter) Jones of Australind and was born on the 14th September 1887. The Jones family were farmers in the area. Ellen was one of eight girls. When she met Dave, she was working for Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs. He married Nellie Jones on the 29th March 1911 at the Anglican Church in Harvey

He walked to the Gooseberry Hill School, as Kalamunda was called then, with his brothers and sisters from the property at
“Orangedale”. It was at the corner of Headingly Road and Stirk Street which is now the middle of Kalamunda.

As a young man he was recognised as one of the best runners of the time. His greatest victory was beating Postie, the leading runner in Western Australia. Postie clocked 10 seconds for the 100 yards and after Dave beat him at a meeting, the handicaps would almost ruin his chances. The story goes that he used to follow the race meetings and once he and his brothers attended one at Kalgoorlie. Money was scarce in those days and the prize money not very big. The only way to earn any was on the bookmaker’s odds. When they got to Kalgoorlie they decided to beat the Handicap!!! Dave grew a beard, died hid hair and entered under an assumed name, with no previous record. He won easily but he and his brothers collected their winnings and made a smart getaway. His son Geoff inherited his father’s running ability.

After finishing school he left Walliston and went to Fernbrook, a small timber-cutting and rail junction town near Collie, where he took up a job sleeper cutting with Jimmy Gorey. All his life was spent in the timber industry. Dave worked at Worsley with Paddy Arnott, the leading mill owner at the time. He was in charge of the bush work until he was sixty years old, then his son, Tom took over that job and Dave came back to the main mill. At one time he also had his own mill, “Teddy Bear” in the Rowlands area. Both Dave and Tom were proficient log choppers and early pictures show David competing at the log chops at meetings at Kalamunda. His last log chop was a Veterans Chop in Collie, which he won by a comfortable margin. Most weekends the family would go fishing and shooting and any outdoor sport they were into it.

Dave and Nell (as she was called) had four children, Elvie May, David Arthur (Tom), Gwendoline Phyllis (Gwen) and Geoffrey Keith (Geoff).

A story is told that not long after they were married, Nell had saved twenty pounds (40 Dollars) to buy a cow. One day Dave rushed in “Where’s the twenty pounds?” Believing it was for the cow, Nell waited for Dave to come home with the cow but he proudly came in with a gun. That gun is still known as the “cow” gun. The cows came later. There were no fences and the cows roamed the bush but came home each night.

He was very proud of his fashionable car called a Durant that he bought from Elias Garage in Collie.

About 1931, Scotty Bell, the father of “Bell Brothers”, had a contract to build the Mungallup Dam. Dave and his son, Tom, had a sub-contract to supply stone for the wall of the dam. They had two horses and two drays and loaded stone on and off by hand. There was no Machinery used on the job, just picks and shovels. As they expected the job to take about a tear, Dave and Nell closed their house at Worsley and moved to Mungullup, where Nell ran a boarding house for the men working there. It is here that Gwen met young Alec Bell and they were later married. This dam is still there and it is interesting that the original pipes were made of wood. Six to eight lengths of carved wood about ten feet long were lashed together with wire to make a pipe of diameter of nine inches. This was all covered with black tar and looked like a small barrel. Many years later the original pipes were replaced by concrete ones.

Another son, Geoff, has happy memories of the home in Worsley. It had previously been the Mill Manager’s house and was about thirty-five squares. The main room was about forty feet long and had very high ceilings and the room and ceiling were lined with tongue and groove timber. Each piece was one complete length without a join.
Dave was very musical and loved parties and dances and all social occasions. When Party time came around, the big open fire was lit, the floor polished for dancing and everyone came. Dave loved these occasions and would be the life of the party with his concertina and the ditties he made up as he went along. Sometimes he would combine dancing and playing the concertina with his arms round his partner’s waist as he played the concertina behind her back.
When Dave retired from the Mill, he and Nell started a market garden ‘to keep themselves busy’. It was successful and they supplied Bill Nunn in Collie with fruit and tomatoes.
Dave died on 14th November 1962 in Bunbury, at the age of eighty. He is remembered as a very kind man, a good father and was affectionately known to all his grandchildren as “Pop”.
Nell died on the 11th April 1960 aged 73 years.

May Wallis

Annie May Wallis, or May as she was known, was the fifth child and the second daughter of John and Emma Wallis and was born at Mason’s Mill on the 16th December 1884.

She had a great sense of humour and would often tell stories of her past. Like when she was small her mother had planted a row of radish seeds. It seemed a long, long time waiting to see what they produced. One day May pulled a plant up and found a tasty little tuba underneath. She ate it. It was good, but what to do with the top, so she stuck it back in the ground. She tried another, and another. They were good!! Her mother EMMA, wondered why all the plants were withering. She was shocked to find all the bottoms bitten off. May and her brother Dave, were full of fun and mischief and would often have to be brought back into line by the “switchy stick”


At the age of 22, she met George Ernest Blamire, who with his family had moved from Scotland to Balam in Victoria. It was here that George’s father, George was killed while working a team of horses and a timber jinker. The remaining family decided to move to Waroona in Western Australia where they took over one of the town’s boarding houses. George and his mother later moved to Paterson’s Mill, near Heidelberg where George was employed as a teamster in charge of hauling logs by horse teams from Piesse’s Brook valley, and the forest over the hills to the top end of Walnut Road, for saw milling at Patterson’s Timber Mill.

May went to school at Kalamunda. On leaving she worked for her married sister, Lucy Palmateer at Heidelberg. May had a great love for horses and it was here that she became an excellent and skilled horsewoman. She was an outgoing fun loving person who loved life and all it offered. George was also an excellent horseman and had an affinity with both hard working and social type horses.

George and May were married in 1908 (1909) at Wesley church, Perth. They bought 30 acres of land off Mitchell Road near the Walliston Railway Station from George Palmateer. During 1911, and after May’s fathers death, they bought and developed six acres of land from her mother in Pomeroy Road. After the house was built in 1938 they sold the Mitchell Street property in 1946. Both George and May worked very hard, like many other settlers, working long hours to clear and set up the new orchard and house.


Basil George was born on 2nd June 1910 at Bunbury while May was on holidays. Mervyn Ernest followed at home on the 14th May 1912 at Walliston. They both went to school at Carmel walking about 2 miles to get there. At the age of 12 Mervyn was given a bicycle to ride to school. He remembers that this gave him extra time to carry out his morning chores before going to school.

The children’s day began at sun-up with the feeding of the fowls, milking, cream separating and other minor chores. After school and at weekends a variety of chores were carried out. Wood to be chopped, carted and stacked, fruit trees to be tendered, pruned, fruit picked, graded and packed, and a number of other household and orchard tasks governed by the seasons.

Occasionally the Blamire and the Palmateer families with their 8 children, would both go to Busselton in George Palmateer’s Ruggles truck for their fortnights holiday. Three days it took to travel the distance, one way. The first night they camped on Will and May Greens (Emma’s family) verandah at Pinjarra and caught up on family gossip. Will was a fettler on the railways and lived in a private dwelling about one street away from the railway. The next night at a well near Capel, this well was renown for its crystal clear and cold water. On the third day they arrived in Busselton where they pitched the tent in a grassy area near the beach for the two weeks.

A fair percentage of the roads during this period were merely rough and sometimes very sandy tracks, or limestone full of potholes. The average speed for the trip was some three minute per mile in the truck. How could we today, tolerate the time and effort needed to enjoy ourselves!

May died 11th July (May?) 1955 in Perth and was buried at the Guildford Cemetery.

Theo Wallis

Theo was the first born at “Orangedale” and the sixth born of the eight children to John and Emma. He was born on 22nd November 1887 at “Orangedale”, Walliston. It is presumed that he did not enjoy his infancy nor his childhood. At the age of about two, father John and the other family members were clearing and burning cleared land. It was during this necessary part of farming that Theo fell into one of the fire where his clothing caught fire and was badly burnt in a number of areas. His mother, immediately sent the other boys into the bush to catch a racehorse goanna which were killed and rendered down and the oil extracted. Theo was covered in cooking fat while the family waited for the goanna stock to cool and the oil skimmed off. Lucy, Theo’s sister, was taken out of school to carry out the house work while Emma worked day and night to stop Theo’s muscles from stiffening and the skin from contracting. It was obviously a success as Theo without having a limp or any visible scar tissue.


His chosen profession became tree felling and he competed, from a very young age at log chops successfully. It is not known at what age Theo left Walliston, however it is known that he worked for the No 1 Railway Timber Mill in Dwellingup during 1910. This mill commenced construction on 25th March 1909, Theo was 20. The Railway Timber Mill No 2 (Banksiadale) commenced construction on 25th April 1911. Theo was a master axeman and contributed to preparing a lot of the timber for the frame of the main mill. Unfortunately because Banksiadale is no more, and the town is under water from the South Dandalup Dam, none of his workmanship survived, only his broad axe which is in the possession by one of his descendants.

It is assumed that he stayed sometime with his grandparents, the Greens at Pinjarra, whore he probably met Victoria “Girlie” Huxtable at local dances and socials. Courting would have been tough as by now he was working on the construction of No 2 Mill which was 12 kms from the Green’s farm.

On the 28th August 1912, he and Victoria Perron Huxtable were married in St. John’s Anglican Church on the banks of the Murray River in Pinjarra. Victoria, or “Girlie” as she was always known was the fifth child of John and Gretrude (nee Horsell). John was a Police Constable and Gertrude a Midwife


At Banksiadale they took up a house block alongside the mill creek that flowed through the townsite, and also leased a few acres of land which they cleared and grew vegetables and strawberries to supplement the low wages at that time.

On the 2nd August 1913 Edward (Ned) John was born and the family began followed by Joy Victoria, Robert and Daphne. The small two bedroom vertical slab house had to gain extra rooms as the family expanded, so each day after work Theo, attended to the adding of a bathroom, laundry and another bedroom to the house.

Theo bought a 1928 Chevrolet four cylinder truck and it was the only means off transport in Banksiadale, other than the train to Dwellingup and then catch the Government Railway services. This vehicle and Theo led a busy life, he and his family dog (Bully, a bull terrier) ran a number of services throughout the week. Five cents to go to the pictures in Dwellingup on Wednesdays. A seat each side and the children sat in the middle for safety. Bully the dog was the only animal allowed through the doors on picture nights, he sat down the front with the children. To understand this it must be remembered that a vehicle was a luxury, a truck unusual and in a small mill town that may boast four or five cars, the truck was vital, not only to the social life of the community, but to all facets of life.

On Fridays the seats were taken off and he sold (or bartered) vegetables in town. On Saturdays he sold vegetables in Pinjarra. Again five cents to go to the dance in Dwellingup on Saturday evenings, with the seats back in. During the Christmas break the truck was kept busy with bookings to run families, with their tents and stuff, to Mandurah and return them to Banksiadale at the end of their holidays. Rabbits shooting trips were arranged into the foot hills, a popular sport carried on by most of the families as it was a cheap source of meat and an alternative the kangaroo or what the butcher sold.

Around 1930 tennis was the rage, so Theo and his son, Ned, decided to build a single tennis court at the back of the town with dirt from the local white ants nests. As wire netting was expensive, they only put up the 2 metre wire mesh fence at each end of the court (the children of the players fetched the ball if it went to the side. A tree stump was employed as the umpires seat, and the “Wallabies Tennis Club” was born.

By 1930 the depression started to effect all of Western Australia and the mill stared to reduce its production down to only one third of previous output. Employment became harder to get also. Theo and the family concentrated on strawberry and vegetable production including community fishing trips to the Murray River near Ravenswood, and piece meal work at the mill.

On 29th September 1938 at the age of 50, Theo died of a heart attack on board a Perth bound train at Armadale. It is understood that he was travelling from Banksiadale to Perth to see a cardiologist as he had been suffering from a heart condition for a number of years. After Theo’s death Girlie, in consultation with children, Ned and Joy, decided it would be best to sell the small farm, which she did. Girlie lived in the cosy little timber slab house by the creek until one day when she fell and broke her pelvis. She died shortly after the accident on 31st December 1965, and joined Theo at the Karrakatta Cemetery.

Frank Wallis

Frank was the fifth son of John and Emma Wallis and was born on 22nd May 1892 at Guildford.

Frank recalls an early story. There were very few motor cars in Kalamunda until well after the 1st World War. However the very first, about 1904, was owned by Archibald Sanderson. It is thought to have been a French De Dion. One can imagine the excitement and wonder it generated – this horseless carriage which climbed up Kalamunda Hill without animal aid. Frank remembers riding in it when aged about 12. He rode down to Guildford in it and said that on the way back he could easily have stepped out on to the road and beat it to the top. Not wanting to offend Sanderson, he kept to his seat, and in any case what small boy would not want to ride up the hill in the first car?


Frank worked as an orchardist on the family property of “Orangedale”, Walliston. In 1909 Frank and his brother rode their bicycles to Bunbury for a holiday, the only holiday Frank ever had in his life.

On Tuesday 17th February, 1914 Frank married Mary Julia Quinn. She was the eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. J. Quinn of Kalamunda. It was celebrated at St. Mary’s R. C. Church, East Guildford, and the service was conducted by the Rev. Father Brady..

They had three children – Emma born 1914, Mary born 1916, Francis (Frank) John born 1918. They walked to school at Carmel cutting through Grandma Emma”s place to get there. If they were late coming home, their mother knew they were playing at Grandma’s place. Such interesting things to do there – a big fig tree to climb, eggs to gather, hay stacks to slide down, a batch of kittens, or chickens, or litter of pigs or to climb on a fence and watch Grandma scratch old “Jack” the boar, on his back with a shovel.

It was hard work tilling the Kalamunda soil with hand implements. Natural predators took their toll of the strawberry crops. The bob-tailed goanna was the main predator. Frank remembers that they were constantly eating the strawberries. He used to keep an axe handy, and waged a constant but unequal battle on them. The Elephant Beetle attacked the crops early in that century, with devastating effect, bringing the commercial growing of strawberries to an end in virtually one year.

One of the early motor vehicles Frank had was a Napier. He cut the back seat off, closed off the front and made it into a utility. With this he took the fruit to his stall at the kerbstone Markets at Midland and Guildford. Some of the fruit crop would be sent to the Metro Fruit Markets which moved from East Perth to West Perth. Other vehicles he had over the years were an Oakland 4 then an Oahland 8, and an Essex 4.

His wife Mary died in 1963 and Frank died on 4th July 1976 at Carmel, and had lived 84 years continuously in the Kalamunda area, a record unsurpassed by anyone.

FRANK'S TWO GIRLS, EMMA & MARY (each side) C1930 Dressed for tennis #66
Florence Wallis

Emily Florence was the youngest child of John and Emma Wallis and was born on 7th July 1897 at “Orangedale” Walliston. (Emily Florence Wallis had written her own birthdate down as 7th September 1897 in the records she had written down for the family)

Florence Wallis was the first pupil to attend the Carmel School and walked to school through a bush track. One of the early tracks through the bush was made by her father, who hitched a heavy log to a horse and dragged it along the ground to make a track for his little girl as she walked to school from “Orangedale” to Carmel every morning. Chores had to be done before and after school. All the family had to do their share of the work. There were pigs to feed, cows to milk and fowls to tend. It was a very busy life indeed. She remembered singing a song at the first school concert held in 1913 accompanied by the teacher, Mr. T. B. Miller on the violin.

Her mother, Emma, built a new house at the Pomeroy Road property and together they planted the Eucalyptus trees on the property, the most spectacular of which now form an avenue either side of Pomeroy Road. They established a productive orchard at this property as well as a spectacular garden that was well known in the district. The gardens were chosen as the venue for local weddings and social events. The avenue of trees planted c1920 are a remnant of the former lush garden.


Alfred Halleen was a caterer and together with his mother, owned a very successful business at 33 Market Street, Fremantle which traded as the “Aleda Tearooms” which they sold in 1911.

They moved to Walliston that same year and bought Canning Loc. 270 from Mr. Edwards. They also bought a virgin block of land in Pomeroy Road which was sold to Mr. Petitt and named “Rising Dawn”. A year later Alfred was associated with the Kalamunda Fruit growers Association.

She married Alfred Reginald Halleen (28) at the tiny Methodist Church, at Carmel on 28th October 1925. His mother had passed away and they had sold the property in Halleendale Road. They lived at “Woodlands” with her mother where they established an orchard and piggery and some poultry.

On the 18th February (19??) their daughter Lesley Florence was born at the Harvey Hospital in Bulwer Street, Perth.

In November 1927 Alfred or Reg as he was more commonly called, purchased a brand new Graham Brothers truck fitted with a special enclosed cab and covered-in body. He had previously been using a modified Dodge Brothers’ car chassis for a number of years to take his produce to market from Walliston.

A special event that Florence was involved in was the catering for 400 returned soldiers from the 2nd World War which was held in the Kalamunda Agricultural Hall in 1945. All cooking was done on a wood stove. There was cured ham, silverside, turkey, potted meats, salads and mould beetroot. For dessert there were 30 huge trifles lashed with sherry, jellies and cream, chocolate eclairs, creampuffs and all kinds of sponges beautifully decorated. These was also home made icecream which Florence husband, Reg, had made in an icecream churn. This was turned by hand, and was surround by ice to produce the most beautiful rich icecream. It was a real hit and was still being talked about weeks later.

Florence Halleen became a very good cook and competed in many shows. Sometimes she took as many as 400 entries to a show and won many trophies and prizes. There were preserved fruits, jams and jellies, cakes of all kinds, fruit and dairy produce – the list was endless. She has been awarded 2,350 diplomas and 34 trophies and cups, and numerous certificates of merit from various shows for her efforts in that class of work. She has never been defeated in the bottled fruit classes. It is doubtful that any exhibitor in Australia has a better record. She exhibited at the Royal Agricultural Show in Claremont as well as the Canning, Kelmscott, Kalamunda, Byford, Northam, Gosnells and Roleystone Shows.

Wallis Drilling

Back in 1963, two Perth drillers – Marty Wallis and his son, Jamie – set up Wallis Geochemical Drilling. In 1965, the company was incorporated as Wallis Drilling Pty Ltd.

Marty was working for the Bureau of Mineral Resources and was told if he bought a rig, then the government would give him a contract. Jamie joined the new company and father and son began their drilling partnership at the former Rum Jungle uranium mine site about 105km south of Darwin.

Marty and Jamie continued drilling all over the state including Coolgardie, Norseman and Laverton.

By 1974, they had drilled their way back to Perth and Graeme joined the family business and the drilling industry. He became a co-director of the company and maintained a managerial role while Jamie and Marty remained drillers and technical specialists as well as company directors.


Wallis Drilling began operations in 1965 and is now one of Australia’s largest privately-owned mineral drilling companies. We currently have 250+ staff who operate a fleet of over 55 drilling rigs in Australia and selected International markets.

In 2015 Wallis Drilling celebrated 50 years of service in the drilling industry.

We are based in Midvale, Western Australia with subsidiary companies in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.

Our recent drilling experience extends to Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America and throughout Australasia.

Wallis Drilling’s first invention was Marty’s patented reverse circulation system for drilling below water tables in soft sediments.

In 1974 came an idea which revolutionised the industry. Wallis was drilling in the mineral sands sector and Jamie was looking for a way to increase productivity and avoid sample contamination which was an issue in auger drilling. To solve this problem, he designed and built a completely new method of drilling; the Wallis Aircore system. It set a new standard in the industry and Aircore technology is now used all over the world. This was the first commercially successful Air Reverse Circulation drilling system in the world.

Since those pioneering days, Wallis Drilling has continued to expand and innovate. Our drilling services now include Aircore, Reverse Circulation and Mud Rotary, Diamond Core and Multitech.

Today, the company has over 55 drill rigs, 250+ employees and operations in selected international markets. It is still 100 per cent family-owned.


Reference: Article: Pickering Brook Heritage Group
A Line on Kalamunda
Cala Munda a Home in the Forest
Kalanumda of the Dreamtime
Memories fof Walliston
Recollections of 150 Years in Western Australia
Tne memoirs of Charles Henry Brooks 1868-1939
John Bell
Gay Bridgemont


Images: 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42,
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 53, 57, 58, 61, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72, 79, 99 Kalamunda & Districts Historical Group
17, 31, 32, 34, 35, 49, 51, 54, 55, 56, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 70 Recollections of 150 Years in Western Australia
9, 10, 11 Internet
13 State Library of W.A.
23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Phillip Griffiths Architects
73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 Lesley Wallis
80, 81, 82, 83 Wallis Drilling
8, 30, 59, 64, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 Gay Bridgement