Trayning Well Memorial
Trayning Well Memorial

The Trayning Well can be found along the Kellerberrin-Bencubbin Rd just outside of Trayning. The stone well was built by Charles Adams.

Building of the Wells

In 1865 Surveyor Charles Hunt began opening up tracks and establishing wells and dams along the Yarragin Road between Toodyay to Yilgarin. Water was scarce, making it a real issue for pastoralists looking to take up land. One of those men was Charles Hunt. In 1867 he began exploring the area and taking up leases. Adams built a house in Yarragin with his family. This included his wife’s sister and husband, James and Janet Ward, and her brother Alex Glass.

Adams and Ward made their living from the sale of sandalwood and wool. Twice yearly they would make their way to Toodyay to do their trading using the Yarragin Road.

During the late 1870s, as more people settled in the area,  Adams was authorized by the Toodyay Road Board to sink wells along the Toodyay to Yarragin Road. The Trayning Well is believed to be one of those wells built by Adams.

Possum Leads To Goldrush

Whether a bush fable or merely a lucky break, in 1887 a possum met an untimely death in one of the wells at Mujakine Station. The smell eventually alerted Jane Adams’ brother Alex Glass and their mother to the contamination. The two set about cleaning out the well. As they began the arduous task Alex decided it was a good time to deepen the well. Pulling up bucket after bucket they eventually hit rock bottom (pun intended). Alex then lowered himself to the bottom of the well and began filling the bucket with mud. As Mrs glass emptied bucket after bucket a glimmer caught her eye. On further inspection, she discovered the glimmer was a small gold nugget.

Thanks to the misadventures of a possum and Mrs Glass’s keen eye, the discovery would start the biggest Goldrush in Western Australia history.

Trayning Well
Trayning Well

Plaque at location reads:

Trayning Well

In 1869, John Forrest named the local water source of Trayning, which was his spelling of the local Aboriginal name Duri-iring, a combination of two words meaning to crawl and a camping place. Duranning was eventually corrupted to “Trayning”.

On 1 March 1877, the Toodyay Road Board accepted the tender of Charles Adams for sinking of a well at Trayning. In 1887, the place was described as Good supply of water at present, but not permanent. It is a tank excavation in ground, 10 feet in diameter by 14 feet deep, stoned up with stone and covered with saplings. A small gully is turned into it, which fills it whenever a thunderstorm occurs. This could be improved by enlarging: a very good place for a tank.

This well was used by early surveyors, pastoralists and goldseekers on the Yarragin Road (Goldfields Track) to the Yilgarn Goldfields.

Death at the Trayning Well

In 1913 the body of a man named Plunkeet was found next to the well. Police were not sure if he died from a blow to the head or fell over an ants nest.