[History and Heritage] [The Heritage Trail]

History and heritage

The Municipality of East Fremantle was created in 1897,when it separated from the greater Fremantle area.

The Town has a population of approximately 6,500 and is 3.2 square kilometres in area It is bounded to the north and west by the Swan River, across which many properties enjoy expansive views.

To the east it shares a common boundary with the City of Melville, to the south and west with the City of Fremantle.

It is a few kilometres from the centre of Fremantle and other major retail areas and is well served by public transport

The town has a rich history. The local aboriginal tribe known as Nyungar obtained food and drinking water from the river edges and open grassy areas.

The track which linked the fledgling Swan River Colony based in Fremantle to the future city center of Perth in 1831 is documented traversing along the East Fremantle cliff edge finishing at the river ferry crossing at Preston Point.

Early settlement of the area consisted of large farm holdings, however as the colony prospered during the 1890's gold rush the nature of the settlement altered dramatically, rapidly changing to a residential area

The Plympton precinct today consists of charming worker's cottages which were established largely between 1890 and 1910.

The annual East Fremantle Festival is held in historic George Street, the main street of Plympton. Riverside was established by the merchant elite of Fremantle and is perched high on the cliffs overlooking the river. Gracious homes of the goldrush era are dotted along the escarpment.

Further northwards, the Preston Point area was developed in the 1950's with houses typical of this time again enjoying the expansive views of the river.

The Woodside and Richmond precincts contain many homes dating from 1900 - 1940. Described as 'sweetness and light' this area is characterised by its fine brick and tile bungalows on genorous (quarter acre block or similar) sites with mature garden settings.
The Town of East Fremantle has strongly resisted the push for infill development and encouraged the retention of the many heritage homes, gardens and streetscapes in the area.

Whilst the pressure from the State Planning Authorities to increase densities may ultimately prevail, in East Fremantle the community and families currently enjoy the standard of amenity of their forebears, with space for children to play and a sense of history and community unparalleled elsewhere.

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Last updated on 17th August, 2004