Forty kilometres west of Bruce Rock, the small town of Shackleton is at the centre of a district that supplies about 40 per cent of Western Australia’s wheat.
A 205km drive due east from Perth, Shackleton’s great claim to fame is that it possesses Australia’s smallest bank - in these days of rationalisation, of course, any country town is happy to boast a bank whatever its size.
Just up the road, in bush terms, at Bruce Rock, are a couple of decent museums. One of these institutions, the Mrs Lin Butler Museum, includes the reconstruction of a tiny schoolhouse and an equally diminutive old cottage made of mud bricks and canvas and complete with an original 1.2m wide bed, which probably helps explain why pioneers were so often blessed with large families.
Neighbouring Kellerberrin was damned with faint praise in parliament in 1897 when the Member for the rival electorate of Yilgarn slated the government of the day for wasting money on an agricultural hall in a town a place where nobody lived except 'two men, a dog and a dead kangaroo'.