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The Bruce Lee Reserve is named for Bruce William Francis Lee, who was a member of the Fremantle City Council 1941-1968, and Chairman of the Council's Ovals and Parks Committee.
The country there was in the care of the Whadjuk Nyoongar until 2 May 1829 when it suddenly became part of the British Empire.
The first owner after colonisation was Henry Lefroy, from possibly 1854 or shortly after that. After his death in 1879, his estate sold the farm to George Curedale. It comprised the 82 acres of four adjoining Cockburn Sound location lots located between the present Curedale Street, east to within 4.45 chains of Fifth Avenue and from South Street to Lefroy Street — and so included the present Davis Park (a mistake for Davies) and Bruce Lee Oval. Curedale was heavily in debt (probably acquired to buy the farm and possibly loaned by George Alfred Davies) which was foreclosed and the land became the property of said Davies.
Two of Henry Lefroy's olive trees on the boundary of Bruce Lee Oval (northwest corner) - at their full height of nearly thirty metres
Davies built his house (probably in 1890) on the highest point — between Field and Lewington Streets, so when he looked eastward and downward from the house he would have seen fields which were at least partly used for grazing dairy cattle — the land between the present Lewington and Caesar Streets. From Caesar Street (named for Frederick Caesar?) onward, the land was farmed more intensively and known as Mulberry Farm.
George Davies died in 1897, and I don't know what became of his land then. It's possible that the cow paddock was informally used for recreation after it ceased to be a farm — until it was formally made a reserve for that purpose, possibly in the 1940s, as that is when Bruce Lee was on the Council, and the Oval is named after him.
FCC - 'my say'
Fremantle Herald, 29 September 2018
Garry Gillard | New: 30 September, 2018 | Now: 8 July, 2020