Fremantle Stuff > town lots

Town Lot 5

Corner of High and Cliff Streets

An early settler, William Lamb, who arrived in 1829 on the Marquis of Anglesea, was granted some of the first town lots in Fremantle, namely 3, 5, 18, 99/100, 279. Cora Lamb, his daughter (b. 1827), was granted lot 378. Town lot 5 is on the NW corner of High and Cliff Streets. It seems likely that Lamb did not develop either of lots 3 or 5 and that they became available to other owners. Daniel Scott, the first harbour master, had come into possession by 1855 and built an impressive three-storey house. He continued to own the lot until his death in 1865 when it passed to his wife, who continued to own it until 1879, when it was bought by Union Bank of Australia. The two-storey building still in existence on the corner was built for the bank in 1888.

As it was known in 1869 as the house of Commissary-General Eichenbaum, the manager of Mrs Scott's estate (she having died in 1865, soon after her husband in the same year) might have let it to him - and then to the Seuberts, who kept a superior lodging house (where, among others, historian J.K. Hitchcock stayed).

I simply raise as a question (as I'm not sure) whether there were two different buildings on the lot before the current Union Bank building. Most 19C photographs seem to show a two-storey building, whereas I believe the Scott residence had three – in fact, J.K. Hitchcock (1919) writes explicitly that it was. However, I've never seen a verbal reference to any other building, so I'll just leave it there.

Hitchcock describes:
a large three-storied building at the corner of High and Cliff-streets, where the Union Bank now stands. It was then the residence of Commissary General Eichbaum, father of the late Lady Shenton. Subsequently it was occupied by the late Mrs Seubert as a boarding house, and here the writer lived during his halcyon days in the mid-seventies, being a fellow lodger for part of the time with the notorious De Rougemont. It was the best establishment of its kind at the time, and was the favorite resort of the North-West pearlers, as well as of shipmasters, who spent much of their time on shore owing to their ships lying out in the roadstead, the loading and unloading being done by the slow process of lightering. The pearlers used to flock from the North-West in large numbers during the off-season, and in the absence of steam communication with the Eastern States, they went no further than Fremantle, and being well supplied with money made things hum in the town during their stay. Alas! Those times are now gone. We have heard a lot about the ‘roaring 90s’ of the golden era, but the ‘roaring 70s’ of the pearling era would always do me. The pearlers of those days were a fine manly lot of fellows, and I have rarely seen their equals amongst the gold seekers.

References and Links

Fremantle History Centre. Look for the PDFs called:
Purchasers of Fremantle Town Lots 1829-1837
Purchasers of Fremantle Town Lots 1855-1879

Hitchcock, J.K. 1919, 'Early Days of Fremantle: High Street 50 Years Ago'Fremantle Times, one of a series of articles on 'Early Days of Fremantle' publ. 21 March - 20 June 1919.

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Garry Gillard | New: 2 December, 2022 | Now: 26 June, 2023