Nannine is a ghost town in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
Nannine was formerly a gold mining town. John Connolly discovered gold
at the site in 1890, prompting a gold rush to the area. A town was
proclaimed in September 1891 and gazetted in 1893. It is claimed that
it was the first town in the region.
By 1894 the town was large enough to be given its own electoral
district, and in 1896 construction began on a Northern Railway between
Nannine and Cue, Western Australia, which was completed in 1903. The
continuation of the line to Meekatharra was begun in 1909.
Nannine is an Aboriginal name, "Nannine Wells" being first recorded
by a surveyor in 1889. The meaning of the name is not known.
The earliest days of gold discovery at this site are shrouded in
controversy, but according to one source it is likely that the first
suspicions of gold in the area were apparently held by Ingpen and
Watts, station hands on the Annean pastoral station. In about May 1890
they showed the site to J. F. Connolly, a New South Wales mining
engineer, who found gold but he does not appear to have been too
impressed. In October 1890 McPherson and Peterkin were directed to the
same site and found significant quantities of gold. By August 1891 they
and others had recovered about 1,700 ounces of gold. The Murchison
Goldfield, which included Nannine was proclaimed in September 1891. By
December about seven hundred men were at the field.
Nannine railway station
The original settlement was down in a gully area between the later
town and the mines to the east and north of the town. In 1892 John
Forrest, the Commissioner for Crown Lands decided to have lots surveyed
and a townsite declared, although Forrest referred to the place as
"Annean", the name of the nearby pastoral station. When the local
miners heard the auction of lots was to be in Perth, eighty five of
them petitioned Forrest to have the auction in Geraldton. The lots were
surveyed in August 1892, and the townsite named Nannine, as "it is
situated 10 miles from Annean Station and 3 miles from Nannine Wells",
and was also the name of the proposed electoral district and adjacent
gold mining lease.