Timber town . .
Mount Helena was a timber town in its earliest days, and was chosen as a sawmill site in 1882. White’s Mill provided timber for some significant buildings around Perth, as well as for the railways. It pioneered the firewood industry in the Hills, railing waste timber to populated centres.
Image: Mount Helena Railway Station. WAGR 7544
Where lines crossed ….
After being abandoned in 1887, White’s Mill was taken over in 1889 by Lion Timber, and a townsite, known as Lion Mill, was gazetted a decade later. By that time the mill itself had passed its peak of production and horticulturalists took up land in the area. However, timber cutting remained an important source of income, while others made wages from working for the railways, since Lion Mill was an important stopping place along the railway line. The original Eastern Railway line via Boya, and the less steep deviation through Jane Brook valley, crossed over here.
Renamed for its position
Lion Mill was renamed Mount Helena in 1924 following a competition asking for suggestions from schoolchildren. The name they chose, ‘Hillcrest’, was duplicated in New South Wales, so Mount Helena was chosen as a reminder of the old Helena Land District, and the place being at a relatively high point along the railway.