Mt Magnet has a diverse rich history with many colourful characters, but the story of the three murders on the rabbit proof fence probably takes the cake.
In 1929 Arthur Upfield, who was one of Australia's leading crime writers of his time, was working on the rabbit proof fence near Mt Magnet.
Working in a small crew, Arthur and his co-workers ate and slept at the camel station, which is where Arthur discussed and plotted with his fellow colleagues about what would make the perfect murder.
Arthur was writing his new novel 'The Sands of Windee', and came up with the idea of crushing both the bones of a murdered man in with some kangaroo bones to disguise the murder.
Unfortunately to Arthur's horror, one of his work mates Snowy Rowles, put Arthur's idea into action and murdered three men exactly how Arthur wrote in his book before it was even published.
This caused some controversy as the murders took place almost identically to Arthur's book launch.
Eventually Snowy was caught and after a lengthy court case, he was found guilty and was hanged in Fremantle in 1931.
In 2008 Taylor Media produced a film called ‘3 Acts of Murder’ which re-told the story of Arthur Upfield and Snowy Rowles.
The shooting of the film took place near Mt Magnet where the original story occurred.
One of the main film sets that was used was the old camel station, which was re-created by Taylor Media.
Once the film crew had finished shooting the scenes, the camel station set was no longer needed and Taylor Media asked the Mt Magnet Shire to dispose of the set to the rubbish tip, unless someone wanted it.
Kevin Brand, who appeared as an extra in the movie heard about the proposed dumping of the set, and immediately seized on the opportunity to salvage it.
With the Shire’s support in arranging a huge shed to store it in, Kevin spent the next two years re-building the camel station set, which he found to be quite difficult. None of the walls were marked and it was like a jigsaw puzzle putting it back together again.
Kevin also had the problem of trying to replace the building’s windows, doors, roof and verandah that were all taken during the film clean up.
Fortunately at the time, some of the Mt Magnet buildings were being renovated. As fast as they were demolishing the old buildings and carting them to the rubbish dump, Kevin was carting them back again and using them for the set.
After two years of hard work the set is now complete, fully decked with furniture and objects from the 1920's.
Having grown up in Mt Magnet all his life, Kevin has seen a lot of changes in the town. Kevin remembers the town being much bigger than it is today. He's seen the effects of FIFO within the community and the many sport fields and facilities that hardly get used anymore.
But there are lots of people in the town just like Kevin, who are passionate about history and are keen to preserve the many colourful stories that all help make up the township of Mt Magnet to what it is today.
The camel station set can be viewed behind the Mt Magnet Visitor Centre and Mining and Pastoral Museum.
Music by Roman Orgy - The fear of Olssons | Bleak House - Biology slides
'3 Acts of Murder' footage courtesy of Taylor Media
Video Credits – Chris Lewis, Open Producer, ABC Open Midwest WA.