Lion Mill


Heritage Council

Place Number



Mt Helena

Location Details

Lion's Mill

Other Name(s)

Mt Helena Saw Mill

Local Government




Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
(no listings)

Parent Place or Precinct

26283 King Jarrah, Sawmills and Sawpit


Mt Helena : In April 1882, James Wright, the successful tenderer for the second section of the Eastern Railway, established a sawmill in an area containing large stands of untouched jarrah, on the north side of the proposed route and 3 km north-west of Sawyers Valley. In August 1882, he obtained a 12 month license for the mill which was operated by his partner Edward Keane. Keane's father-in-law Abraham White and later his son Lionel White were mill managers. In 1883, Keane and White purchased the mill, and obtained a 14 year lease from which they cut timber for sleepers and also for Charles Harper's Guildford residence 'Woodbridge'. Timber from this mill was also used in the interior of St Georges Anglican Cathedral, Perth. Residual timber was sold for firewood. In May 1888, after Lionel White had left for the Yilgarn Goldfields, and Edward Keane was in London trying to raise finance for his troubled Midland Railway, the mill closed and was taken over by the Union Bank. In 1889, Adelaide timber merchant Richard Honey purchased the site, and his manager James Port constructed the new Lion Jarrah Mill. The mill produced dressed floorboards, including some tongue and groove which did not need nails. When Honey died in 1892, the mill was purchased by F.W.C. Forsyth and Richard Hummerston. The mill employed up to 80 men, and when Forsyth moved to Chidlow's Well in April 1896, his share was purchased by Oscar Bernard. The mill produced jarrah blocks for roads, and before it closed in 1898, and was moved to Collie, it was producing more loads than its closest rival at Sawyers Valley. Before his operation closed in late 1904, Richard Hummerston operated a small mill initially employing four men. At the same time, 3 local contractors were employed vutting firewood for the Perth Iceworks. In 1905, when Midland Railway land was opened for cutting, two mills opened. They were the Dalgarup Mill employing 27 men, and Dykes Mill, 7 km north-west of Lion Mill. In December 1905, Bunning Brothers, operating as the Perth Jarrah Sawmills, purcahsed both Hummerston's and Dykes Mills and in June 1906, when they aquired Dalgarup Mill, they coontrolled 30,000 acres (912,140 ha) of land. Their mill employed 50 men, and an additional 20 operated as bush fellers. In the post World War One period, the mill mainly supplied sawn timber and firewood. Bunnings closed its Mt Helena operations in 1924, and moved to Collie. This impacted strongly on local employment, and this was reinforced in 1929, when a bushfire destroyed all the remianing timber stacks.

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Original Use FORESTRY Timber Mill
Present Use OTHER Other

Creation Date

12 Sep 2012

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

14 Nov 2019


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