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Norseman

Norseman is a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, 726km east of Perth and 278m above sea level. It is also the starting point of the Eyre Highway, and the last major town in Western Australia before the South Australian border 720km to the east. At the 2006 census, Norseman had a population of 857.HistoryThe quest for gold led to the establishment of Norseman. Today there are a number of small goldmining operations in the area but only the Central Norseman Gold Corporation can be considered a major producer. Gold was first found in the Norseman area in 1892, about 10 km south of the town, near Dundas. The "Dundas Field" was proclaimed in August 1893 and a townsite gazetted there.In August 1894, Lawrence Sinclair, his brother George Sinclair, and Jack Alsopp discovered a rich gold reef which Sinclair named after his horse, Hardy Norseman. The family originally came from the Shetland Isles in December 1863. Laurie's brother James was working in Esperance as the Post and Telegraphist Master. In January 1895 the mining warden asked the Government to declare a townsite for the 200 or so miners who had arrived. It was gazetted on 22 May. The Aboriginal name for the area is "Jimberlana". A mining entrepreneur from Melbourne Mr Ernest McCaughan led a party of 13 by Steamship from Melbourne to Esperance to walk inland and discover the central part of the Gold Field. He later went on to develop substantial mining interests in Western Australia and Tasmania.
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