The Slater Family – Goomalling’s true pioneers

If you want to feel the true spirit of the word ‘pioneer’ then George Slater would be it.

Making progress where there was none, George was a man ahead of his time and given to many firsts.

Think the 19th century equal of Elon Musk, living in Goomalling.

George was the first settler and farmer in Goomalling, built the first homestead, residence, and also the schoolroom for children in the district. The man he hired as the town’s first teacher spent 30 years teaching the children thanks to George’s support. Irish-born Mary Lynch later became Mrs Slater and they had 12 children over the next two decades.

George was not only progressive; he was also a keen entrepreneur great at spotting ‘golden’ opportunities and profiting from them. He had his finger in many pies – including breeding horses for the Indian Army.

One of his most profitable ventures was turning Slater Homestead into an Inn during the gold rush years. Attracting all types of adventurous sorts, he provided rooms and meals to gold prospectors and their horses on the way to the goldfields in Yilgarn, Kalgoorlie, and Southern Cross.

Legend has it that George played host to Arthur Bayley and William Ford, the first miners to find gold at Coolgardie. Sir John Forrest, an explorer and the first premier of Western Australia also stopped at the inn while on an expedition. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the time!

The Slater Homestead is now a heritage property open to the public and for events. This is a must visit for those wanting to feel the spirit of the pioneering days and those youngsters needing to stand in the spot where one of the 19th century’s first entrepreneurs really found his place!

Continuing George Slater’s legacy into the 21st century, modern travellers can eat and stay at the beautifully restored homestead or drop in for the day. Pop in to the old barn, which displays a collection of local photos and indulge in some scones and tea at Mary’s Tearoom.