Cossack was officially declared a town in 1872 and by 1887 a horse drawn tramway had been built connecting the port with the town of Roebourne. Cossack became the port for the pastoral industry which, by 1869, had over 39,000 sheep in the Pilbara. This role also brought hundreds of prospectors through the town when gold was discovered in the Pilbara in the 1880s.
Cossack was also, from 1866, a centre for pearl divers. By the 1870s over 80 boats were operating out of the port and divers from Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and China were regularly stopping in the town. Cossack's life as a town was relatively short-lived. By the turn of the century the pearling fleet had moved north to Broome to take advantage of the pearl beds in the area. By 1910 the harbour had silted up and the once-thriving community had become virtually a ghost town.
Today Cossack is in the process of being recreated. Where once it was a ruin, now there is a systematic attempt to bring the old buildings back to their former glory. Cossack boasts eight restored buildings and a cemetery, all of which have been listed by the National Trust. Read more about Cossack...