Brookman and Pearce's mining camp 1893

Boulder lies 595 Kilometres east of Perth. In 2016 its population was 4,825, a lot short of the 5,600 in its gold mining heyday of 1903.

In 1893 after seeing that all the leases in the region of Hannan’s reward lease were pegged, Brookman and Pearce of the South Australian Prospecting Company tried their luck at a new field just a few kilometres from Kalgoorlie.

The second lease Pearce pegged was the fabulously rich Great Boulder Mine. Following this significant discovery prospectors soon followed. Tents and shanties grew into a small settlement named Boulder, after the mine.

In 1896 the town site was laid out and gazetted. The first town blocks sold quickly, then a second sale a few months later saw blocks sold for twice as much, according to the Coolgardie Miner newspaper.

Building then began in earnest. Elaborate business facades and public buildings lined Burt Street. Grand brick homes were built for doctors and public officials. In 1908 the Boulder Town Hall was opened. Dame Nellie Melba performed there in 1914.

In 1989 Boulder merged with Kalgoorlie to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, yet it still retains its distinctive character.

Source - Eastern Goldfields Historical Society

Last updated on 30 July 2021