Paynesville – ghost town

Tom Payne 1906

Tom Payne 1906

Paynesville is located  77 km east of Mount Magnet. Gold was discovered in this area in early 1898

by Tom Payne and Waldeck, and by April 1898 the place had been inspected by a surveyor and a plan of subdivision prepared. It was at first referred to as ‘Paynton’, and ‘East Mount Magnet’, and some records record the locality as “Fords” after another prospector.

By April 1899 local prospectors were using the name Paynesville, and it was with this name that the townsite was gazetted in 1900. It is believed to be named after Tom Payne. The railway from Mount Magnet to Black Range, passing through Paynesville, was opened in 1910.

Paynesville Town Map

Paynesville Town Map

There are only five burials in the Paynesville Cemetery and only one headstone. As you will see from the rocky ground around it the grave digging must have been hard work.

The only memorial is an impressive one and is that of:-

Ernest HARBORDT  who died 11 Feb 1899 aged 24yrs who died at his gold mining lease 416, Paynesville east of Mt Magnet. Buried by Walter Missingham, in the presence of Thomas Duncan and James F Ryan. Death certified by his friend, Archibald Morton.
He was a single miner who had been in Western Australia for 3 years. The verdict of the Coroners enquiry was that the deceased came to his death from a blow on the head caused by a rock fall in the water shaft being sunk on the Lady Maud Lease

Grave Surround of Ernest Harboldt

Grave Surround of Ernest Harbordt – photo by Paul Tonkin

Memorial to Ernest Harbordt

Memorial to Ernest Harbordt – photo by Paul Tonkin

Ernest Bruno EIFFLER died 27 Dec 1915 aged 74yrs buried at Paynesville by A Johns, wittnesses by H Nicholl and J Graham. he was a carpenter who died of natural causes. he was born in Germany, the son of Bruno Eiffler. At the age of 32 he married in Melbourne to Mary Agnes Hegney. Their children at the time of his death were, Matilda age 40, Bertha age 39, Bruno E age 37, Charlotte Age 36 and Minnie age 33.

Mount Magnet Miner and Lennonville Leader 9 September 1899

Mount Magnet Miner and Lennonville Leader 9 September 1899

Robert MILLIGAN died 18 Mar 1928 aged about 60yrs, buried at Paynesville by police constable J Markey from Sandstone, wittnessed by A G Moses. he was from Victoria.

He was a prospector who died of a gunshot wound in the head. He was found dead in his camp at Paynesville with part of his head blown away. A rifle was found lying on the bed beside him.

Timothy O’REGAN died 27 Mar 1901 age 33yrs, buried at Paynesville by Arthur Otto Peck. Wittness John O’Regan and Thomas Payne. A miner, whos death came about by the breaking of a rope which caused a bucket to fall down the mine shaft upon him. he was born at Kinsale, Ireland – the son of Elizabeth nee Kelly and James O’Regan (farmer).

James Melville Gardiner TORRANCE died 14 Apr 1935 aged 55yrs at the Paynesville Hotel, buried at Paynesville by E S Moses, wittness police constable W W Hearn. he was a gardner who died of natural causes, supposed heart failure. he was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and had lived in WA for over 20yrs

Ref:- More Lonely Graves of Western Australia
by Yvonne and Kevin Coate

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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. Erica payne says:

    very interesting, never heard if it. I knew of our connection with Paynes find but never heard of Paynesville. Not sure if they are connected

  2. Victoria Nixon says:

    I related to Paynes in hunter valley area

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