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Ravensthorpe Historical Society

About Mr Elston, Photographer

Walter Egbert Elston JP was photographer at Ravensthorpe from 11 May 1901 to 1912. He came from Esperance Bay where he had been a draper, stationer and photographer.

In Ravensthorpe, his photographer’s shop/studio was on Lot 125 Morgans Street where the main museum building is now. The Elston family lived in Spence Street. They had two children born in Ravensthorpe (previous births in Esperance and Norseman did not survive).

As well as his role of photographer, Mr. Elston held many psoitions. He was acting chairman of the Phillips River Road Board (PRRB) in March 1905 and appointed chairman April 1905. He retired in March 1910.

During his time as PRRB chairman, Mr WE Elston called meetings to discuss shipping facilities, or rather a lack of adequate facilities at Hopetoun. The development of those facilities can be read in our publication Hopetoun Jetty available from the museum (see Contacts).

He was also amongst the reception party on January 12, 1907 welcoming the first WA Premier to visit Raensthorpe, Mr Newton Moore.

In June 1909, Mr. Elston was on board the first official train of the Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Railway. Moving slowly into Ravensthorpe platform, a silken ribbon held by Mesdames Spence and Elston was cut.

WE Elston became a member of the Phillips River Masonic Lodge on 13 March 1907.

Various Phillips River Times adverts list in 1904: Photographer, Stationary and Fancy Goods in Great Variety and again in 1906: Elston’s Fancy Goods, Toys, Stationary and Photographic Views of the District always on hand. New Books coming in Every Month.

A street in Ravensthorpe is named after WE Elston. Many of his photographs are in the museum and provide a priceless pictorial record of the era.

© Ravensthorpe Historical Society archives. Compiled by A. Williams, archivist, 2007
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