Williams

Williams is the first major settlement on Albany Highway heading south from Perth. It supports local agricultural activities.

Location:

A heritage trail takes visitors past some of Williams's historic buildings and nearby wildflower stands and dryandra forests are also attractions.
One unusual feature is the Jesse Martin Museum, a historic village and memorabilia collection constructed by a local farmer on his own property from old shops and post offices on the verge of being demolished in country towns, as well as barns full of old cars and farm machinery.


Dryandra Woodland

A nature conservation area, it is considered to be one of the state's major conservation areas, and although it is far from pristine due to its history of logging operations, a number of species of threatened fauna are rebuilding populations through the removal of introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats. In addition to the area's use as a wildlife refuge, it has anthropological significance with the indigenous Noongar people having strong cultural links there.


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Where is it?

160 km south east of Perth.


History

The town is situated on the Williams River. The river was named in honour of King William IV by Captain Thomas Bannister in 1831 while leading the first overland expedition from the Swan River Colony to King George Sound.

The first European to explore this area was Capt. Thomas Bannister in 1831. The first white settler, Joseph Strelley Harris, arrived with 300 sheep in the same year.

A bridge was built over the Williams River by convicts in 1855 and the increased traffic between Perth and Albany that it brought made Williams a major stopover point. The original settlement was on the south bank of the river but due to flooding it was moved across to the north bank.

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