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Peppermint Grove

Peppermint Grove was the 250 acres of Swan Location 84. It was granted to John Butler in 1832, tho what he actually wanted was Claremont. He built a stone house which he called Prospect Place, tho it was better known as the Bush Inn - or the Halfway House, being about half way between Fremantle and Perth on the first Perth-Fremantle track - the one that ran along the top of the ridge that is now View Street. He was granted the licence to trade there as early as April 1830.

After the death of Butler's wife, Ann, in 1886, a syndicate of businessmen, including Alexander Forrest and George Leake, persuaded Butler's children to sell the land. In 1891, it was subdivided and lots were sold for £7 to £12 each. Two of the earliest residents were Edward Keane, Lord Mayor of Perth, and John Forrest, Premier of Western Australia. Just four years later, residents got a road board, later to become the Peppermint Grove Shire Council – to this day, the smallest in Australia at just 1.1 km².
Peppermint Grove is situated between Stirling Highway on the west and the Swan River at Freshwater Bay to the east. It spans six blocks, with its main streets named after the first post-subdivision residents of the suburb – McNeil, Forrest, Leake, Irvine, Keane, Johnston and Venn. There is also a (later) Butler Way.

St Columba's Presbyterian Church, Keane Street

Cottesloe Primary School
Presbyterian Ladies College (current), cnr View, McNeil Streets

Freshwaters, Lilla Street

There are many notable houses in the suburb. One of the most important was Talbot Hobbs's own house, The Bungalow, which was demolished, along with another seven or so houses so that a supermarket billionaire could build something pretentious. He never got around to it. Another billionaire built most of a ridiculous mansion known by wits as the Taj Mahal on the Swan. He left the country in disgrace and the building was resumed by the Council for non-payment of some kind of fees and demolished. Another remarkable building is Bessie Rischbieth's house, still standing. Also: St Just; and many more.

Manners Hill Park, surrounded by Johnston Street, Bay View Terrace, Keane Street and Lilla Street, was named in 1934 in honour of the chairman of Peppermint Grove Road Board and his sixteen years service to it, J. Manners Hill.  Prior to that, it was known as Keane's Point Reserve. The tennis courts of the Peppermint Grove Tennis Club are on the park. There is a pavilion designed by J. J. Talbot Hobbs.

References and Links

Bolton, Geoffrey & Jenny Gregory 1999, Claremont: A History, UWAP.

Downey, Harold Sydney G. 1971, Mosman Park, UWAP.

James, Ruth Marchant 1977, Heritage of Pines: A History of Cottesloe, Town of Cottesloe Council, © Ruth Marchant James.

James, Ruth Marchant 2007, Cottesloe: A Town of Distinction, Town of Cottesloe, © Ruth Marchant James 2007.

Pascoe, Robert 1983, Peppermint Grove: Western Australia's Capital Suburb, OUP.

Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Part 1, Early Days: Journal and proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, 7, 7: 98-106.

See also these Peppermint Grove residents: Horrie Sholl, Alexander Forrest, George Leake, Edward Keane, John Forrest.

History, on the Peppermint Grove Shire website.

Garry Gillard | New: 29 May, 2021 | Now: 16 December, 2023