#Fremantle Architecture 1#
2 High Street Fremantle.
Featured in “I Shoot Raw” November 2010
On 25 April 1829, the ship HMS Challenger under the guidance of Captain Fremantle had arrived in the waters off the Fremantle coast to make preparations for the Swan River Colony.
On 2 May 1829, Captain Fremantle formally took possession on behalf of King George IV of the entire west coast of New Holland in a ceremony conducted just near the south head of the Swan River. A few days later a camp was set up in a bay just south of the head, and Fremantle has been occupied ever since.
A month later, on 1 June, Captain James Stirling on the Parmelia arrived to officially set up the Swan River Colony. The settlement of Perth began on 12 August 1829.
Captain Fremantle left the colony on 25 August after providing much assistance to Stirling in setting up the colony. It was then that Stirling decided to name the port settlement ‘Fremantle’.
In 1897, Irish-born engineer C. Y. O’Connor deepened Fremantle harbour and removed the limestone bar and sand shoals across the entrance to the Swan River, thus rendering Fremantle a serviceable port for commercial shipping. Fremantle still serves as the chief general seaport for Western Australia, though far greater tonnages are exported from the iron-ore ports of the Pilbara.
Pietro Porcelli’s statue of C. Y. O’Connor, who designed Fremantle Harbour, at Fremantle Port. Fremantle has seen many industrial conflicts, the most famous of which occurred in 1919 when rioting broke out during “the lumpers’ strike”, resulting in one death and many injuries.
During World War II, Fremantle was the second largest base for Allied submarines operating in the Pacific theatre. There were up to 125 US, 31 British and 11 Free Dutch submarines operating out of Fremantle, until the Americans moved forward to the Philippines.