Following an expedition to the area in 1861 by Edward Reverley Brockman, his brother-in-law Gerald de Courcy Lefroy and his uncle Pemberton Walcott: in 1862 Brockman established Warren House homestead and station on the banks of the Warren River; Walcott established a farm and flour mill at Karri Dale on the northern outskirts of the later townsite, and Lefroy established a farm and flour mill on Lefroy Brook.
In 1913, the newly-established, governed-owned State Saw Mills began construction on twin sawmills, at the location then known as Big Brook, for the purpose of helping supply half a million railway sleepers for the Trans-Australian Railway. The mill site was in a valley to ensure the mills had a regular supply of water and because it was easier to roll logs down hill to the mills. Big Brook became a thriving private mill town, with a hall, store, staff accommodation, mill workers' cottages and single men's huts, and two boarding houses. A more distinctive name was soon sought. The name Walcott, after Pemberton Walcott, was first suggested but was rejected by the Post Office due to conflict with Post Walcott. (incidentally my first husband and I lived in Walcott Street in North Perth). William Locke Brockman, local farmer and son of early settler Edward Reveley Brockman, suggested Pemberton. The mill town was well established but by 1921 there was community agitation for a government townsite to be declared. Community pressure eventually resulted in lots being surveyed in 1925 and the Pemberton townsite was gazetted in 1925. Pemberton in 1919:
During the 1920s the area was a focus of the Group Settlement Scheme and following the Second World War, the War Service Land Settlement Scheme, but only with moderate success.
During the 1980s, Pemberton began to grow as a tourist town and tourism, particularly domestic, continues to play a key role today. (My daughter, her eldest daughter and I spent a delightful 10 days in Pemberton several years ago. We visited several touristy type places and really enjoyed our visit). This is the main street that runs through Pemberton.
and this is the Pemberton Hotel:
The nearby Gloucester National Park contains three climbable karri trees, each in excess of 60 metres tall. The most famous is the Gloucester Tree, but there is also the Diamond Tree and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, which is the tallest of the three and stands at about 71 metres. Each of these trees has been fitted with metal rungs which allow visitors to climb these trees and reach the constructed lookout at the top. Gloucester tree:
Pemberton is surrounded by karri forest with five national parks within 20 minutes drive from town and has plenty of rivers, streams and dams for recreation. Some of the beautiful forest attractions surrounding Pemberton include: Big Brook Dam; Beedelup Falls; The Yeagarup Dunes and Lae Jasper which is the largest natural fresh water lake in Western Australia and covers an area of about 450 hectares. It is unique as it has no in or out tributaries and is 10 metres deep. It is only accessibly by 4WD. The Cascades are a series of low falls in the Lefroy Brook which are accessible from the historic Tram which departs Pemberton twice daily. It is also accessible by a road that has now been sealed.
Karri forest near Pemberton:
Big Brook Dam:
The Cascades on Lefroy Brook and the viewing platform:
The viewing platform overlooking the cascades is a great vantage point during winter when the stream is swollen with flood waters after storms when thousands of young lampreys migrate downstream to the ocean. At this stage lampreys have a pair of brilliant metallic blue-green stripes on their back. They ride the torrents to the sea and then disappear into the depths, heading south. Within a year or two they will be back to the stream to restart the cycle.
I am very grateful to Wikipedia for all the information about Pemberton and also the free photos I was able to obtain which I've included here.