May Gibbs – Harvey 1

Travelling on the South Western Highway, on our way back from Margaret River, last weekend, we passed through Harvey. The town centre is about 500m off the main road, but the Harvey tourist precinct is on the highway where it crosses the Harvey River.

As well as providing visitor information, the tourist precinct is a destination in its own right and includes a small citrus fruit orchard, a riverside walk and a replica 1880s era cottage which is now a café. 

The cottage over the years has had two famous inhabitants. In the 1830s, James Stirling, the first governor of Western Australia, had a cottage built on this site. In 1885 and 1886, May Gibbs, the creator of children’s stories with an Australian bush theme, lived in the cottage with her family. She was only eight years old at the time, but her memories of the surrounding bushland stayed with her for the rest of her life, and were incorporated into many of her bush characters including the famous gumnut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Stirling Cottage Harvey

 

 

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