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Bush Inn

mapThe Bush Inn (aka Prospect Place, Halfway House) was a hostelry run in the 1830s by John Butler. It was the first licensed wayside inn in the colony. Butler called his estate Prospect Place, but Bush Inn was a more popular name. It was also called the Halfway House because it was roughly halfway between Perth and Fremantle. It is not to be confused with a later Halfway House in the 1860s on the Perth-Fremantle road when it was moved northeast in 1838. The second Halfway House was on a site where the Albion Hotel is now. (See part of a map from Bolton & Gregory: 13, right.)

The Bush Inn was situated a few yards off the original Perth-Fremantle track. The road itself ran from Preston Point, where travellers crossed the river by ferry.
[He means it ran from somewhere on the northern side of the river, opposite Preston Point - probably Minim Point.]
The track then picked its way between heavy limestone outcrops or patches of heavy black sand—past the Bush Inn—following close to where Loreto Convent now stands. [It's now gone.] The convent was originally the Hotel Osborne, a most lavish building and grounds quite ahead of its time and a favourite honeymooners' resort. The track, still hugging the highland of Claremont, passed behind the Methodist Ladies' College and the other big houses that overlook the bay and then through to Ned's Land [Nedlands] and so to Perth.
The present location of the Bush Inn site is in a square formed by Forrest Street, McNeil Street, View Street, and the bay, and residents in that area, on looking at their rate notices, will find it listed as part no. so-and-so of location 84. As was mentioned, Butler's grant was location 84, and it took in Butler's Hump, or Keane's Point, as it is known today, and included all the foreshore as far as Rowe's tearooms and boat sheds. Tuckfield.

(Butler's Hump aka Keane's Point is now the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.)

References and Links

Bolton, Geoffrey & Jenny Gregory 1999, Claremont: A History, UWAP.

Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Part 1, Early Days: Journal and proceeedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, 7, 7: 98-106.


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