Borden is a sleepy little town in the Shire of Gnowangerup with a population of approximately 300. It services surrounding wheat and sheep properties and sits 389km south-east of Perth and 118km north-east of Albany on the Chester Pass Road. The town has an annual rainfall of 350mm and being the closest town to the Stirling Range National Park, is a good stopping point for visitors looking for accommodation and other essential services in the area.
Borden was named after the Sir Robert Laird Borden, the eighth Prime Minister of Canada (1911 - 1920) and was first used in 1912 when it was proposed by the Secretary for Railways as the name of a siding on the new Tambellup-Ongerup Railway. It was gazetted as a townsite in 1916. The next siding on the railway line (now closed) was named Laurier, after the Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s seventh Prime Minister (1896 - 1911).
At the height of the sandalwood trade in the 1840s, nearby Paper Collar Creek was a meeting point for the cutters as they travelled between the hinterland and the port at Albany. When they headed into town, they would dress up their shirts with collars made of paperbark to impress the ladies and then discard the paper collar near the creek on the way back.
As well as providing an interesting landmark for the town, the Cooperative Bulk Handling (CBH) Borden receival bin has become an important destination for the region’s grain producers and is capable of handling 107,000 tonnes during harvest. The Borden area is notable for its variety of wildflowers - it is possible to view more than 1,000 species between August and November – and its abundance of native fauna, with around 180 types of bird having been identified in the region.
There is a tavern/restaurant and post office in Borden (08 9828 1021) as well as CBA and ANZ banking facilities at the general store (08 9828 1045).
For further information phone the Shire of Gnowangerup on (08) 9827 1007 - www.gnowangerup.wa.gov.au.