Fremantle Stuff > East Fremantle. See also: historical photographs of East Fremantle

East Fremantle

Before becoming a municipality, East Fremantle, like the Melville Road Board district, formed part of the Fremantle Road Board. It was anxious to become incorporated with the Fremantle municipality, but as overtures in that direction were repeatedly rejected by Fremantle, it constituted itself a separate municipality in 1897. Prior to becoming a municipality, East Fremantle possessed a separate Board of Health acting independently of the Fremantle Road Board. That was formed to enable the residents to cope with the nuisance arising from the old slaughterhouse* which was located in the centre of Plympton. Hitchcock: 94. [* The slaughterhouse, Herbert Baker's butchery, was where Glasson Park is now, on Hubble, George, and Glyde Streets.]

map 1901The Town of East Fremantle (1897) is bounded by East, Marmion, and Petra Streets and the Swan River, and is divided into four wards, each of which is of some historical importance. Both Canning and Stirling Highways run through the suburb, and in fact cross each other inside it.

The map (Battye Library) shows the positions of the Plympton and Richmond localities in 1901. Click/tap for a larger version. >

Plympton and Richmond were the two original components of Fremantle's 'East Ward' in 1892, at which time Fremantle had had a Municipal Council and Mayor since 1883. However, the two areas were not administered directly by the Municipality, but by the Fremantle Road Board, despite the fact that residents had petitioned the Premier (John Forrest) to become part of Fremantle. So, a few years later, they resolved instead to ask to become a separate municipality, and this was brought in effect in 1897.

wardsPlympton was the earliest area of development in East Fremantle. It was originally mainly property owned by the family of William Pearse between East and Silas Sts (Lee: 127) up to Canning Road. The current Tradewinds Hotel was formerly the Plympton Hotel (1898). The George St Precinct is in Plympton. When the Pearse estate was subdivided, many of the new streets were given Pearse family names. Plympton is a village in Devon on the Plym River between Plymouth and Dartmoor, but I do not yet know of any connexion between the village and an EF resident — though W.S. Pearse must be the most likely. Plympton is the SW ward, containing the Town Hall (1899) and former (originally Plympton) Post Office (1898).

Richmond is the central ward, containing Richmond Primary School (1921), at 37 Windsor Rd, and the former Kaleeya Hospital, cnr Staton and Wolsely Rds. The ward is bounded by Canning Highway, Preston Point Rd, Fraser St, and Petra St. The Richmond Hotel (later Bridge) stood roughly where Stirling Highway now crosses Canning Hwy. Richmond School is the only primary school in the Town; East Fremantle Primary School is not in the Town of Fremantle, being on the southern side of Marmion St, and therefore in the City of Fremantle.
William Temple Graham, an 1830s arrival, named his home Richmond House, giving the ward its name. Walter Easton was a teacher who arrived in 1857 to serve as schoolmaster to prisoners in the Fremantle Prison. (Lee: 117) He named his personal estate Windsor, and there is now a Windsor Rd in Richmond. Easton family names (Walter, Gill, Stratford, Morgan [later Osborne St]) were given to streets in the Windsor Estate. The Richmond (later Bridge) Hotel was in (the SW corner of) the Richmond area, but the Richmond Raceway was not, and is now in the Woodside ward, and has become a housing estate.

Woodside was the name of the house and also the estate which was the property of William Dalgety Moore, and occupied the land between what are now Allen and Petra Sts. Woodside is now the name of the SE ward, and contains the site of the former Woodside Hospital at 18 Dalgety St (which was the Moore house), the East Fremantle Football Club, and the former 'Richmond' Raceway.

Preston Point is the name of the northern ward, and has almost all of the river foreshore and the yacht clubs etc. It is north of Fraser St and west of Preston Point Rd. William Preston was 2nd lieutenant on Capt Stirling's ship HMS Success (in 1827) and 1st lieutenant on the third ship to arrive in the Colony, HMS Sulphur, in June 1829.


Charlesworth, Helene 1997, Small but Strong: a Pictorial History of the Town of East Fremantle 1897-1997, Town of East Fremantle.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948].

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Lee, Jack 1979, This is East Fremantle (The story of a town and its people), East Fremantle Town Council.


East Fremantle council (here)
East Fremantle election/councillors (here)
East Fremantle Heritage pages (there).
Museum of Perth's Streets of East Freo website.

Garry Gillard | New: 31 October, 2014 | Now: 20 June, 2019