In 1882 settlement began when White's Mill was established to provide sleepers for the railway line. Timber from this mill was used in Woodbridge House at Guildford and in the interior of St Georges Cathedral in Perth. White's Mill closed in 1888 and was replaced by Lion Jarrah Mill which patented a new type of flooring known as "pavodilus", in which floor boards fitted together with nails.
In 1896 Lion Mill exported jarrah paving blocks to England. The hotel was built in 1902 by local carpenters and in 1906 the Greenmount Road Board Office built the first brick building local Government office at Lion Mill. The government chose Lion Mill as its headquarters because of its large population due to junction of the two railway lines. The township was renamed Mt Helena in 1924 and fruit growers and poultry farmers kept the town going after the closures of the sawmills.
Chidlow was originally known as Chidlow's Well after William Chidlow in 1831 and was an important section of the Eastern Railway. The Chidlow's Well Railway Station was completed in 1884 and was listed as a refreshment stop on the timetable. It was also an important stop for watering of the trains from the well and the huge water towers in the station.
These demands on Chidlow's Well led to Lake Leschenaultia being created in 1898 as a railway reservoir, where water was pumped by steam-powered pumps into the station yard water towers. The railway made the forest area more accessible and by 1898 there were more than 14 licensed sleeper cutters working from the Chidlow area. Many of the sleepers from Chidlow were used in goldfields railways and mine shafts. Orchardists were the next generation of workers to populate the area as the soil was found to be extremely productive. Chidlow was a major factor in the rapid growth of fruit exports from WA between 1907 – 1914, and the success of the fruit growing industry reflected in the growth of the township after the turn of the century.