Potted Histories

Private Businesses In Yarloop

By Heather Wade, 2020

In 1903, eight years after Millars first came to Yarloop, Charles Sommers a property developer from Perth, offered business, residential and garden blocks on the west side of the railway line, free of Millars’ control. A number of businesses were established along Station Street or close by, and Station Street became the commercial hub of Yarloop. Meanwhile, Millars ran its own emporium, butcher and baker shops near the Workshops.

Yarloop Townsite blocks for sale in 1903.[1]

Charles Sommers’ advertisement outlines opportunities in Yarloop:-

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24. The YARLOOP TOWNSITE. On the GROUND, YARLOOP, S.W.R., Opposite Railway, station. At Four P.M. 47 BUSINESS, RESIDENTIAL, and GARDEN BLOCKS. Quarter-acre to Five Acres Each. Owing to the large increase of population at Yarloop, consequent on the Erection of the Timber Combine’s Railway Workshops, Foundries, etc., where it is proposed to build rolling-stock for the whole of the Combine’s Railways, and for the Government and the Expansion of the Timber and Agricultural Resources of the District, pressure has been brought on the owner of the Land adjoining the Railway Station to Subdivide Portion of his estate into Business, Residential, and Garden lots, and submit same to public competition on the 24th inst.

The Business Sites fronting on Station street are all over a quarter of an acre, and are splendidly situated, the Railway Station being right in the Middle of the Estate. The Land has a gentle slope from the Railway Line to Logue’s Brook – a permanent running stream – on which the Garden Blocks having each an area of over four acres, have been laid out. This land is of the richest possible description, being all a deep alluvial, capable of producing immense crops of potatoes and other root crops.

Attention is directed to the fact that no Government Township has been laid out at Yarloop, the land being all held by private owners. This Sale, therefore, offers an excellent opportunity for investors. Yarloop is 78 miles from Perth, and 37 miles from Bunbury, at the junction of the S.W. Railway, and the Timber Line to the Hoffman and Waterous Sawmills. The Timber Combine have decided to close down their Waroona Mills, and remove the branch railway line, and concentrate their business at Yarloop. This means that an enormous increase will be made in the population of Yarloop.

CHAS. SOMMERS has been favoured with instructions from M. A. Wickham, Esq., to Sell as above, on the Grounds. TERMS One-fifth cash, balance 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, with 5 per cent. interest. Plans and all particulars on application to the Auctioneer, 260 St. George’s terrace. (West Australian, 17 October 1903.)


Following are advertisements between 1896 and 1954 for Yarloop businesses, showing the range of services available:-


1921 – AERATED Water Plant (Hayward Tyler) Crown Corking and Turnover Racks, Tangye Engine, Bottles, Stock, Accessories; giving up the business. G. P. Johnson, Yarloop. (West Australian, 10 Nov 1921.)


1921 – Yarloop Men and Matters. Yarloop’s Barber. Yarloop’s barber is named Johnson, and he has shaved, haircut, and shampooed the residents for some twenty years, but he refuses to shave you without cutting your hair. Yet only charges sixpence a time. Is most energetic; sells ‘The Mirror’, and all the time you are being shaved or tonselled places a ‘mirror’ before you. Runs a lolly shop, newsagency tobacconist emporium, etc., not forgetting his aerated water plant. His latest stunt is to offer a big prize to the Rifle Club for the lowest scorer for the season. Johnson one time met a man named Skuthorpe, but there by hangs a tale which we can’t tell now. He shaves White regularly, and knows the grand Schlam. [NB Skulthorpe, White and Schlam were local Millars’ employees in management positions.] (Mirror, 30 July 1921.)

A barber shop that had seen better times, Station Street, 1963. Photo: Shire of Harvey.


1919Yarloop’s Blacksmith.—In another column Mr R. F. Drew draws attention to the fact that he is prepared at his workshops at Yarloop to undertake all classes of blacksmithing and general shoeing work. He also carries out general repairs to motors, etc.

R. F. Drew, Yarloop, General Blacksmith and Practical Shoeing Smith, Motor Repairs a Specialty. Satisfaction Guaranteed. (Bunbury Herald, 4 January 1919.)

1920FYFE & GRAY, (Successors to Kilgour and Day) General Blacksmiths & Wheelwrights. YARLOOP. SHOEING A SPECIALTY. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 7 September 1920.)


The sign reads ‘Jock Laurie, Bookmaker’. Although his name can’t be found in relation to Yarloop, there was a bookmaker in Fremantle by that name for 30 years so it is assumed it is the same person.[2]

Bookmaker’s Shop. Photo: Harvey Districts Historical Society.


1949 – Mr. G. Vozzo, more popularly known as “Joe” Vozzo, announces through the advertising columns of this issue that he has taken over the boot and shoe repairing business from Mr. J. Betti in Hayward St., Harvey. Mr. Vozzo needs no introduction to many residents of this district, having conducted a similar business at Yarloop before the war, and later on moving to Capel, where he was similarly engaged. (Harvey Murray Times, 6 May 1949.)

George Wilkes was also a bootmaker. The photo of the premises, GJ Wilkes Shoe Store, in Station Street was taken in 1963.


1906 – WANTED, A good BUTCHER, For killing and driving cutting-cart, good wages.

Apply to D. H. MARIOTT, Butcher, Yarloop. (West Australian, 18 May 1906.)

The butcher’s shop was built by EG Green and is currently the Yarloop Post Office. Photo taken 1963. Photo: Shire of Harvey.

1951 – FARMERS

E. G. Green & Sons


Require unlimited quantities of— Prime Veal TOP PRICES PAID.

Further Particulars from any STORES. (Harvey Murray Times, 30 March 1951.)


1911Miss Diamond, COSTUMIERE,

Station Street, YARLOOP.

Costumes made to Order. Ladies’ Own Material made up.

Tailor-made Costumes & Specialty. (South Western Advertiser, 11 January 1911.)


1899 – NOTICE is hereby given that the PARTNERSHIP hitherto existing between LOUIS C. KAU and WILLIAM DOHNT, of Yarloop, Fruiterers, has this day been DISSOLVED by mutual consent.

The said WILLIAM DOHNT will receive all moneys and pay the debts of the partnership.

Dated this First day of June, 1899.


WILLIAM DOHNT. Witness – ATHOL E. BARRACLOUGH. (West Australian, 9 June 1899.)

1902Business for Sale

IN consequence of the owner leaving the district, the well and favourably known

Greengrocery, Confectionery, News Agency, Soft Drinks and Seedsman’s Business, which has so successfully been carried on by




Intending purchasers can, if they so desire it, inspect the business and the books

The purchaser may take over the business with or without the book debts.

Applications to be addressed—

W. DOHNT, YARLOOP. (Southern Times, 13 February 1902.)


Fishmonger & Fruiterer, Railway Street, Yarloop. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 11 June 1920.)

JOHN AND GEORGE HILL, GREENGROCERS In an interview in 2006, Stella Harris nee Hill, spoke about her father and brother’s greengrocery business in Yarloop, which many still fondly recall. Advertisements have not been found for this business.


Osborne’s Garage and Agencies was situated in Teasdale Street. Cecil Rhodes Miller, a mechanic and Ronald Charles Miller, a spray painter operated from the same premises in Station Street while Kerr’s Garage was in McDowell Street next to the former Palace Hotel.[3] Kennewell’s commenced business in Station Street but moved to the South West Highway where they ran the Shell Service Station.

Osborne’s Garage & Agencies, Teasdale Street, photo taken 1963.

1947 – Xmas Comes But Once a Year

Motoring Troubles Never, if Serviced at

Osborne’s Garage



Petrols and Oils Available.

Good range of second hand motor cycles.

(Easy terms arranged.) (Harvey Murray Times, 5 December 1947.)




From £35 Deposit

Illustrated Literature on Request.



KELVINATOR IS BEST. (Harvey Murray Times, 17 October 1952.)

1949 – Signwriter And Decorator Mr. R. C. Miller, of Station St., Yarloop, advises through the advertising columns of this issue that he has opened a signwriting and decorating business at Yarloop. He specialises in all classes of signwriting, painting and glass gilding, as well as Duco, Dulux and lacquer spraying. (Harvey Murray Times, 7 January 1949.)

1949 – A Service Your Car Will Appreciate. SPECIALISED LUBRICATION AND MAINTENANCE Have Your Car Regularly High Pressure Lubed. OPENING SHORTLY: DULUX, DUCO AND LACQUER PAINTING. BOOK YOUR ORDER NOW. C. R. MILLER, M.I.A.M.E. — YARLOOP — Phone 40. (Harvey Murray Times, 14 January 1949.)

1949 – BRITISH Workmanship

is renowned throughout the world.

MILLER’S Workmanship

is renowned throughout the district.



C. R. MILLER YARLOOP Phone 40 (Harvey Murray Times, 17 June 1949.)





R. C. MILLER Station Street, Yarloop. (Harvey Murray Times, 17 June 1949.)

Kerr’s Garage on McDowell Street in 1963 next to the former Palace Hotel, aka the Old Wooden Pub.

1950 – FOR SALE New Customs Ford Utility with wireless; best cash offer. Open one week. Kerr’s Garages Yarloop. Phone 44. (West Australian, 27 May 1950.)

1950 – NEW YARLOOP BUSINESS. A newcomer in Mr. L. A. Kennewell who was a prominent businessman in Kellerberrin for many years, has opened a general agency in the premises next to the Yarloop Hotel. Mr. Kennewell, who recently bought out Mr. A. H. Baldock, advises that the Shell depot has been removed to these premises. (Harvey Murray Times, 30 June 1950.)


1951 – Nails, all sizes. Kitchenware. Electrical Goods. Radios. Refrigerators. Tanks and Windmills. Cement. Baths and Sinks. Stoves and Grates. Tools.


Next to Yarloop Hotel.

Phone 19.

SHELL DEPOT …. WIGMORE’S LTD (Harvey Murray Times, 30 March 1951.)

1951 – FARM GATES 12 ft. and 14 ft.



Phone 52. Residence Phone 19. (Harvey Murray Times, 5 October 1951.)


1896 – TIMOTHY MULLANNY ROGERS, married, general storekeeper who was living at Yarloop Siding, applied for a Gallon Licence for his unlicensed premises which he occupied, situated on Block 106 Harvey A.A. (Bunbury Herald, 4 September 1896.)

1897 – MAN, smart, wanted for General Store, country experience preferred. Apply, letter only, T. M. Rogers, Yarloop Siding, S.W.R. (West Australian, 26 October 1896.) Timothy M Rogers was elected to the Brunswick Road Board in 897. (Southern Times, 18 December 1897.)

1919 – New Store at Yarloop— Mr Indar Singh, the well-known storekeeper at Yarloop, has recently opened a fine new store opposite the railway station his commodious premises are exceptionally light and cool. Ample counters and shelves afford room for the fine selection of groceries, drapery, hardware, crockery, etc., which Mr Singh offers to the district. Residents of Yarloop and surroundings will greatly appreciate the facilities for shopping in comfort and to best advantage at the new emporium of Mr Singh. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 29 November 1919.)






Goods Delivered Daily to all Sidings. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 13 August 1920.)

McNeill Bros. General Store.

 McNeill’s store to the left of the Yarloop Hotel.

BEEKEEPERS’ supplies, 8 and 10 framed hives, other accessories; cheaper than Perth. McNeill’s Yarloop. (West Australian, 11 September 1920.)

ACRES 723, all fenced, partly improved, adjoining late Mr. T. W. Hardwick’s Waroona farm: price only £700, half cash, balance spread: also 360 acres adjoining Hardwick’s Springton Hill property, improved, sub-divided, £900, half cash, balance easy; both good farming properties, inspection invited. McNeill, Agent, Yarloop. (West Australian, 30 August 1921)

1939 – McNeill’s Stores YARLOOP Groceries, Drapery, Hardware. (Harvey Murray Times, 18 May 1939.)

1940 – No country centre would be complete without its general store. In Yarloop, centrally situated, spacious, modern and up to date in every way, is the progressive general store managed by Mr. Ross McNeill. Known as McNeill Bros., this attractive shopping rendezvous—for it is here that both men and women meet, during the course of their happy little shopping expeditions to exchange pleasantries and to discuss happenings of interest in the district — has been steadily and progressively increasing its stock and generally catering for the needs of Yarloop, Groceries, produce, hardware, drapery, men’s clothing and a special dressmaking service: all these departments are included in this spacious and attractive store.

Since taking over the management of the business just twelve months ago, Mr. Ross McNeill has, with the assistance of Mr. Herbert Seddon, rapidly built up a very fine general store, and at the same time gaining for themselves a personal popularity.

Although he is quite a young man, Ross McNeill possesses many worthwhile accomplishments. Being an old Scotch Collegian, he is keenly interested in sport, particularly in football and cricket. During his busy life, he always finds time to attend “head of the river races. Gaining as he does, so much healthful enjoyment from life, he is always alert and eager to help others. His assistant, Herb. Seddon, is also a keen sportsman and a prominent footballer, so for the menfolk of Yarloop at least, there is, apart from the general attractiveness of the various departments in McNeill Bros., always the added attraction of cheerful and interesting conversation on topics of the day.

The ladies, of course, find much to interest them in the attractively displayed merchandise and the pleasant atmosphere of this modern store. For general merchandise remember that you can obtain it at McNeill’s Store in Yarloop. (Harvey Murray Times, November 1940)

Mrs Sophie McPhee conducted her business in the shop owned by McNeills which was next to the Yarloop Hotel. Circa 1938 Ross McNeill modernised the shop and ran the business advertised above. Geoff Fortune describes the store when it was known as McPhee’s Store.

The store always had a gloomy and cluttered interior, and because Mrs McPhee was financially independent of the shop, it never seemed to go ahead. As well as shelves, it had display tables for customers to walk around, but these were always untidy with kerosene table lamps, glassware, crockery, hurricane lamps, tin ware and many other things all mixed up together. The open shelves were well stocked, but though they held everything other stores sold, it was placed haphazardly.


1918 – PALACE HOTEL, Yarloop.

In the heart of the Jarrah.

Comfortable Accommodation. BEST LIQUORS.

Mrs. E. L. LICHBEBG, Proprietress. (Bunbury Herald, 18 May 1918.)

1951 – Yarloop Hotel TRAVELLERS Turn off at the Yarloop Hotel FOR THE Best of Drinks and Hospitality. A. BEVAN. Proprietor. (Harvey Murray Times, 5 October 1951.)



Teesdale St., Yarloop.

Every Description of Nursing.

Mrs. E. SMITH, NURSE. (South Western Advertiser, 11 January 1911.)


1920Yarloop Refreshment Rooms. Meals at All Hours. Soft Drinks, Light Refreshments. Cleanliness AND ATTENTION. Groceries at Lowest Prices. Cakes and Confectionery. Proprietress: — Mrs Howard. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 11 June 1920.)


The businesses was conducted at Lot 106, 31 Station Street from 1926 to 2018.


1925 – Renewal of Billiard Licence in the Wellington District. Billiard saloons: V. W. Hummerston, Yarloop. (The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 15 December 1925.)

1926 – NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO REMOVE LICENSE TO OTHER PREMISES. I, Victor William Hummerston, holder of a Billiard License for the house and premises known as a Billiard Saloon, situated at Yarloop, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply to the Licensing Court to be held at Bunbury, on September 1926, to remove the license to my own new wood and iron premises on Lot 106, Station-st, Yarloop. Dated the 19th day of August, 1926. , Signature of Applicant, V. W. HUMMERSTON (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 24 August 1926)

1926 – Reginald Ernest Cattach and Mary Frances O’Hehir were married in St John the Baptist Church by the Rev. Father Doddy. … After the ceremony the wedding party motored to Mrs. Hummerston’s new hall, where the reception was held and a large number of guests entertained. (Sunday Times, 29 August 1926.)

1927 – KERBSTONE PUMP. Permission was granted to Mr. Hummerston of Yarloop for the erection of a petrol kerbstone pump. (The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 16 February 1927.)

1927 – YARLOOP SUB BRANCH R.S.L. ANNUAL SMOKE SOCIAL. The above branch held their annual smoke social and reunion at Hummerston’s Hall, Yarloop on Saturday evening, July 30. (Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express, 3 August 1927.)

1928 – The Polling Places are as follows: — Chief Polling Place, Yarloop (Mrs. Hummerston’s Tea Rooms). (South Western Times, 5 April 1928.)


1932 – Road Board Offices.— In order to enable residents of Brunswick and Yarloop to transact road board business without travelling to Harvey, arrangements have been made for the secretary (Mr. W. R. Eckersley) to attend at the Brunswick hall on the third Monday of each month from 10 a.m. till noon. On the third Wednesday of each month he will attend at Gillard’s tea rooms in Yarloop. (Harvey Murray Times, 29 April 1932.)

1934 – Following the marriage ceremony at the Yarloop Church of England between Walter Cattach and Alma Anderson a reception was held at Gillard’s Hall. (Harvey Murray Times, 26 October 1934.)

1941 – PETROL RATIONING APPEALS. An advisory committee has been appointed to deal with the anomalies in petrol rationing, consisting of Messrs Warren, Aylmore, C. F. Robinson, L. A. Tierney and W. R. Eckersley. If any person suffering an injustice in his rationing will appeal to the above committee, the case will be judged on its merits and recommendation then forwarded to the Liquid Fuel Board. Appeals must be in writing on the paper form used by the committee, and can be lodged at the Harvey Road Board office, the Brunswick Hall on Thursday afternoons, and Mrs Gillard’s shop, Yarloop, on Wednesday mornings. (Harvey Murray Times, 24 July 1941.)


1949 – A beautiful cake may be seen in the glass show case at W. Yates’ tea rooms, Yarloop. (Harvey Murray Times, 29 April 1949.)

1949 – WANTED ACCOMODATION, bed only, in Pinjarra for young lady occasional week-ends. Reply— Yates Tearooms, Yarloop. (South Western Advertiser, 27 Oct 1949.)


1949 Mr. and Mrs. Ken Higgins have now taken over the business formerly conducted by Mr. and Mrs. W. Yates. Ken will now be the distributing agent for this paper in Yarloop and district. (South Western Advertiser, 25 August 1949.)

1949 APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER. To the Licensing Court for the Murray-Wellington-Forrest District. I, William Thomas Yates of Yarloop, being the licensee of the Yarloop Billiard Saloon, at Yarloop, do hereby make application for the rights and privileges of the Billiard Saloon licence held by me in respect of the said premises to Kenneth William Higgins, of Yarloop, and I the said Kenneth William Higgins do hereby concur in such application, and request the said transfer may be made. Dated this 12th day of December.

W. T. YATES, Signature of Proposed Transferor.

K. W. HIGGINS, Signature of Proposed Transferee.

BALL & ROBERTSON, of Harvey. Solicitors for the Parties. (West Australian, 14 December 1949.)

As times changed so did the services a general store provided. The Higgins added another string to their bow.

1950 – K. PRICHARD DENTIST will visit YARLOOP on TUESDAYS 9 a.m. till 12 noon, at Yates’ [Higgins’] Tearooms. (Harvey Murray Times, 4 August 1950.) [NB Advertisements occurred from August to November 1950.]

1953 – FOR SALE. 1950 Model Malvern Star AUTOCYCLE; good condition. Apply

HIGGINS’ SHOP, Yarloop. (Harvey Murray Times, 6 March 1953.)

1954 – BILLIARD TABLE and accessories, £75. Apply K W Higgins, Yarloop. Phones 12 or 24. (Harvey Murray Times, 7 May 1954.)

1954 – HOUSE FOR SALE YARLOOP. Asbestos & Weatherb’d on ¼ acre block, 4 rooms, 2 louvred sleepouts, bathroom, front and back verandahs, garage, 21 assorted fruit trees. Windmill, rain and scheme water supply. Partly furnished, most floor coverings, all window treatments. Apply K. W. Higgins, Yarloop. Phones 12 or 24. (South Western Advertiser, 3 June 1954.)

NB that the archived newspapers at https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ have been digitised to 31 December 1954 to comply with copyright.

[1] State Library of WA, Yarloop townsite [cartographic material]: to be sold by public auction Saturday October 24th 1903 at 4p.m. / L. Simpson. (Call number: 4/12/26)

[2] Fremantle Stuff at https://fremantlestuff.info/fhs/fs/1/Smith.html.

[3] Cecil Rhodes Miller was the father of Ronald Charles Miller. Both are listed in the 1954 Electoral Rolls living in Yarloop; in the 1958 rolls CR Miler was still in Yarloop at 1 Johnson Street and RC Miller was working in Perth as a signwriter.