Potted Histories

Hoffman Mill

Hoffman was a tiny sawmill town of about one hundred and fifty souls. There were houses for married couples, huts for single men and a boarding house. The Company provided a general store that included the Post Office and Savings Bank. Mr White had a ‘lolly shop’, billiard saloon and ran the SP Betting Shop. Millars’ Timber and Trading Co. also provided a hall where a travelling showman ran the movies once a fortnight. Now and again, a dance was organised. The ladies stayed inside and talked; the men stayed outside and talked, drank beer and sometimes brawled. Between dances the children slid up and down the dance floor.

There was a cricket ground cleared and built by weekend busy bees. They also cleared and constructed three tennis courts. The Tennis Club was particularly well organised and well patronised.

The children had an ideal life. Hoffman was in the middle of the jarrah forest at the source of the Harvey River. The creeks abounded with gilgies, marron, minnows and trout. Every summer the children built a dam across the creek-bed beside the one room school house. This was the town’s swimming pool. Many learned to swim there in spite of no supervision and no one ever drowned. The season lasted from December until at least Easter, sometimes longer.

Jack Gates.

Eileen Tucker, 1853 to 1987, Oldham Family History: William Oldham and Elizabeth Murphy and their known descendants in Australia, Cloverdale, WA, 1987.


Another form of entertainment was provided by the Hoffman Pierrots (reverse image)