Rusty The Tin Dog Statue
Rusty The Tin Dog

When you are a small town like Dowerin it can be hard attracting visitors. You often have to create something unusual or really special for people to stop. In 2004 the kids at Dowerin District High School put on their thinking caps and came up with the idea of creating an enormous tin dog to attract tourists.

Inspired by the legend of the local Tin Dog Creek the students found an artist to create Rusty The Tin Dog.

Legend of Tin Dog Creek

In 1887 gold was discovered in Yilgarn hills (north of Southern Cross). This ignited the “Yilgarn gold rush”.  During this time settlers from Northam and surrounding areas often used the land and local creek around Dowerin to feed and water their stock. As a result, they created a handy track for the miners heading to the goldfields.

The track followed a chain of water soaks which also became handy for the miners to access water. The miners would often spend the night near a water hole or creek and chow down on a can of tinned beef, which was often referred to as “tinned dog”. Not known for their cleanliness, the prospectors would often leave their empty cans behind.

One particularly popular spot for discarding the tin cans was the creek near Dowerin. It soon became known as Tin Dog Creek.