Fremantle Stuff > people > Lars Peter Hedlund

Peter Hedland/Hedlund/Headland

The town of Port Hedland is named after Peter Hedland (Lars Peter Hedlund, 1829-1881), who was a significant figure in European settlement in North-West Australia, as mariner, explorer, and pearler. He married Ellen Adams in Fremantle 15 October 1858. They had ten or eleven children.

Swedish-born mariner Peter Hedland was the first European to note the harbour's existence and the possibility of using it as a port. Peter Hedland arrived in the area in April 1863 on board his boat, Mystery that he had built himself at Point Walter on the banks of the Swan River. He named the harbour Mangrove Harbour and reported that it would make a good landing site with a well protected harbour and that there was also fresh water available. ...
In January 1871, Hedland and three other mariners were tried on charges of forcing Aboriginal people to work for them. They were acquitted following a trial at Geraldton in March.
He was allegedly killed near Lagrange Bay 14 September 1881 by Aboriginal people. His body was never found. Hedland was survived by his wife and 11 children. Wikipedia.

The cutter Mystery (16 ½ tons) was built at Perth by Peter Hedland in 1857. Later in that small vessel he discovered and named Port Hedland in the north. Hitchcock: 43.

I'll post here a photo which is thought by a family member to be a possible photo of Peter Hedland, as it was inherited, and the man in it looks somewhat Swedish. Be clear: this is only a conjecture at this time, and the photo does not have provenance. I'm putting it here in the interests of further research. The same photo appears on the porthedlandnow website.

References and Links

Matheson, Julie 2020, 'SS Koombana 1912',

Wikipedia page for Peter Hedland

Hitchcock's History.

Garry Gillard | New: 20 September, 2017 | Now: 8 May, 2022