Suburban History: Hammond Park

The first land grant of the area around Jilbup (Thomsons) Lake, in what is now Hammond Park, was to George Dunnage, who had 20,000 acres granted in 1830, including the whole Hammond Park area. Another often-cited holder of early grants is C.E. Mangles. The land changed hands many times in the next 50 years, as many hopeful young settlers were disillusioned by the harsh nature of farming and living in the new colony.

In the 1880s, the whole south-eastern Cockburn area was known as Jandakot, and was a huge provider of food for the Fremantle and southern areas. Many people bought land in the area and made a good, if tough, living growing fruit and vegetables on market gardens, running dairies and piggeries. Many market gardens were run by Chinese migrants, and there was one who worked in this area known as Georgey Way.

Cyril Pearson's house, corner of Gaebler & Lyon Streets, c1925

Cyril Pearson’s house, corner of Gaebler & Lyon Streets

James Hammond was born in England in 1840, and emigrated to Canada where he was a skilled piano-maker. When his eyesight started to fail, he migrated again, this time to Western Australia in 1887. Hammond arrived in Fremantle and bought a block on the eastern side of Thomsons Lake. He married and had eight children.

He built the house and other buildings on his Thomsons Lake land and ran a market garden, which all his children worked on with him. One of their major crops was cauliflowers. The land around the lake was fertile for growing crops but often needed to be drained of some of the swampy waters.

He was successful and his market garden remained productive for nearly 100 years, run by his children and grandchildren.

Hammond family, 1909

James Hammond and family on the market garden, 1909

Though officially in Wattleup, Hammond Park backs right onto the Harry Waring Marsupial Reserve. Harry Waring was a professor of zoology at UWA, who was interested in marsupials and spent a lot of time developing areas to study them. The Marsupial Reserve was created in 1970 by the Minister for Fisheries and Fauna as a breeding colony. It was renamed in 1982, after Waring’s death in 1980.

The suburb Hammond Park was approved in 2002, and formally gazetted in 2003. It was formerly a part of the suburb of Banjup, as was Aubin Grove on the eastern side of the freeway. There are still some market gardens operating in the area, but it is increasingly residential.


Leah

Author: Leah

I work as the Reader Services Librarian at Spearwood Public Library. I order the books, and I take requests for anything you can’t find in the library! I also research and write local history articles for the Cockburn Soundings, and for anyone who has a local history question.

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Suburban History: Hammond Park

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