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Coolgardie is one of the major towns in the goldfields of Western Australia, and is located 510 kilometres east of Perth. Gold was discovered here by Bailey and Ford in 1892, and the townsite of Coolgardie was gazetted in 1893. At its peak in 1900 it had 23 hotels, three breweries, six banks, two stock exchanges and three daily and four weekly newspapers. The population then was 15,000, with 25,000 more in the area.
Coolgardie is an Aboriginal name of uncertain meaning. Different sources give it as meaning "a rockhole surrounded by mulga trees" ( the mulga tree is named "koolgoor"), from "coolgabbi" meaning a tree near a waterhole, or after the large Bungarra lizard, pronounced "Coorgardie"by the Aborigines. It is claimed that Warden John Finnerty was the first to record the name, having asked local Aborigines the name of the place. The name was difficult to spell, and what some claim is "Golgardi", was spelt by Finnerty as Coolgardie.
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