The District of Williams was first explored in 1831 by Captain Bannister en route from Perth to King George III Sound (Albany). Williams has been a convenient stopping place for travellers on the same route since the 1850’s.
With the tendering of a reliable mail service around 1853, the road was upgraded and Williams became an important stop over point for passengers and changing of horses. It subsequently developed as the District Centre for Local Government, which was granted in 1877.
The small town was subject to increasing floods due to the clearing of the land for intensive farming, therefore the town was relocated to the Perth side of the bridge. The town site was surveyed in 1905 and most of the buildings in the present town site were constructed after that time. Williams is still reliant on wool and coarse grains and caters for about 2,500 vehicles per day. The population has stabilised in the district to around 1,000 with about 400 in the town.
Heritage Trail Brochure
The Williams Heritage Trail was established in 1988 as a Bicentennial Project. For the complete brochure on the trail, click here.
Council also has for sale copies of the book ‘The Williams’ by Hurtle G. Cowin, a history of the growth of the Williams District. These have recently been re-printed and are available now for $15.00 at the Council Office.
Municipal Heritage Inventory
Council’s Municipal Heritage Inventory can be viewed at the Council Office Monday – Friday. It includes some 285 listings from the Williams area.