Built on the extreme west end of Cooleenup Island in the Murray River (Western Australia) Delta, Cooper's Mill was commenced in the 1840s by Joseph Cooper, but he died before it was completed. He was a wheelwright by trade so had made the necessary parts to finish construction. His sons Thomas and James were able to complete the mill with some help because of this. Joseph had carried the limestone blocks for a considerable distance across the Peel Inlet by small boat to construct the mill. This would have entailed moving the boat through shallow water with difficulty to the site. The mill was in use by 1850, at first with wind power and then with a steam engine, affording local farmers an efficient means of milling their grain, saving them from having to do it by hand. The mill operated until 1865, when the machinery was sold to Theodore Fawcett of Pinjarra. Relying on river transportation, Cooper's Mill had become unviable because of better road transport and bridge construction north of Pinjarra's farmlands.
The building came to be used by fishermen as a smoke-house, and locals used some of the limestone blocks for chimney construction.
After WWI, Cooper's Mill became the home of 'Old Martin', a White Russian who was said to have a metal plate in his head from war injuries. He was paranoid, lived on the top floor of the mill and pulled his access (a rope) up when he slept there to avoid strangers. He was forced to move into nearby Mandurah when the mill was renovated in 1930. The mill has been renovated a couple of times since and is an attraction for boating picnickers.
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