The early European settlement of the state saw the Avon Valley quickly becoming the colony’s major agricultural region. Wheat growing and flour milling flourished in towns such as Toodyay. Many colonists developed their own horse-powered mills, which would have provided a coarse type of flour. The introduction of steam-driven mills resulted in many bigger mills being built and local businessmen gristing mill for growers.
||Corner of Stirling Terrace and Piesse Street, Toodyay
||9574 2435 (Toodyay Visitor's Centre)
Monday to Sunday: 9.00am-3.45pm
Open every day of the week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday
- Adults/children: $ 3.00
- Family pass (2 adults & 2 children): $ 10.00
- Children under 6 years: free
- Free entry on Australia Day
- Free parking beside the Visitor Centre and at the railway station nearby
- Public toilets nearby in the Memorial Hall
- Souvenirs and books for sale
- Accommodation bookings and tourism information available
- Working historic machinery - an interpretive display of the mill’s operations and life
- Historical agricultural activities in the Toodyay region – innovation, labour, pastoralism, honey, viticulture, timber and the Ballardong Nyungar experience
History of the Mill
Connor’s Mill was built in 1870 for entrepreneurial convict expiree Daniel Connor. It was built by George Hasell, who also built many other buildings in the area. The mill was originally a stone mill, with wheat being milled between the movement of a top stone on a base. It was the third steam mill in the district at the time, although it quickly became the only viable mill. Connor’s Mill produced flour of a high quality, even winning an award at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1878.
Upon his death, Connor’s estate sold the mill to his former miller Charles Marris in 1902. Marris converted the mill to a roller mill, a new technology at the time. In 1917 Charles Lukin bought the mill, and began to operate it as a power station as well as a mill. Its name changed to Toodyay Roller Flour Mills. By 1921 it was owned by the Western Australian Insurance Company Limited and the Toodyay Electric Lighting Company operated out of the mill. The power station provided light for the town between 7pm and midnight. In 1922 the power service became the responsibility of the Toodyay Road Board and light was provided between 4pm and midnight, seven days a week.
The power station continued in operation until 1955. Between 1955 and 1975 the building remained vacant. In 1970 Toodyay Shire Councillors Mac Wroth and Ted Davey persuaded their fellow councillors that the building was worth preserving. It was saved from certain demolition.
In 1975 the building was renovated back to Connor’s Mill, and the Toodyay Tourist Centre was established in the ground floor. A National Estate Grant from the Australian Heritage Commission was used to restore the building. Funding from O’Connor Quinlan Estates also helped to open the mill as a tourist facility.
In April 1976 the Honourable Alan Ridge, MLA, opened Connor’s Mill and Tourist Centre. In 1994 machinery donated by Weston Milling was installed in the mill and a working mill was recreated.
For further information please visit the Toodyay Visitor Centre website.
Click Here for images of Connor's Mill.